Officials said the village of Wu Feng in the northern country of Hsinchu was buried on Wednesday as Typhoon Aere caused mudslides and flash floods on the island.

"It happened very quickly. In about 10 seconds mudslides buried the village. We know 15 people were buried, including eight locals and three policemen. We have sent in rescuers," said Hsinchu county chief Cheng Yung-Chin.

Typhoon Aere later moved to China where more than half a million people had been evacuated to safety.

In 2001, one of Taiwan's deadliest years for storms, Typhoon Toraji killed 200 people. A few months later, Typhoon Nari caused floods and killed 100 people.