Typhoon Maemi Leaves Scores Dead in S. Korea

Soldiers and rescue workers fanned out across South Korea (search) on Sunday after the worst typhoon in a century caused widespread destruction and claimed at least 87 lives. Dozens of others were feared dead.

South Korea set aside more than $1 billion for recovery from Typhoon Maemi (search), which roared into the country with 135 mph winds Friday night, wreaking havoc before dissipating in the Sea of Japan early Sunday.

Maemi was so intense that shipping containers were lifted in the air, gigantic cranes toppled and even an evacuated cruise ship tipped over in Busan (search), South Korea's main port. An offshore storage facility for Exxon Mobil Corp. plowed into an oil tanker being built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for a German company. Both were damaged.

The typhoon also triggered landslides that derailed a train, uprooted trees and downed power lines. Some 110,000 households were still without electricity Sunday. At least 82 moored fishing boats and other vessels were destroyed.

Residents struggled to salvage what was left of their battered homes Sunday.

"I am trying to save at least a cup here, but nobody seems to be around to help me," Ahn Kyung-ja, a housewife walking around her damaged home, told the YTN cable news network.

Of about 25,000 people who fled their homes to seek shelter, about 7,000 remained in schools and public facilities Sunday, their homes still uninhabitable.

Bulldozers rammed at heavy rocks blocking sections of highways. In many places, overturned cars drifted in streets that looked like rivers.

President Roh Moo-hyun (search) toured Busan, the country's second largest city and worst-hit urban area.

"Although some functions have been paralyzed, let's try to set a new record in normalizing the distribution of goods," he said.

Orange uniformed relief workers joined soldiers in olive green fatigues to shovel sludge from the streets. Residents used kitchen utensils to scoop water out of their homes.

The government's anti-disaster center said 87 people were confirmed killed and 30 others missing and feared dead.

Maemi -- Korean for 'cicada' -- was the most powerful ever to hit South Korea since weather officials began keeping records in 1904.

Earlier Sunday, the government said it will spend at least $1.2 billion for relief and recovery work.

The disaster office said 26,108 acres of farmland, including rice fields and orchards, were flooded ahead of the fall harvest season, raising concerns that the price of rice -- the country's staple food -- may rise significantly.

South Korea is usually hit by several typhoons each summer and early fall. In September last year, Typhoon Rusa left at least 119 dead. The deadliest typhoon ever to hit South Korea was Sara, which killed 849 people in 1959.