TAIPEI (AFP) - Thousands of workers continued search and rescue operations Saturday after Tropical Storm Kalmaegi wreaked havoc across Taiwan, leaving at least 18 people dead and seven missing, officials said. The casualties from floods and mudslides were reported in worst-hit central and southern Taiwan, where up to 1,000 millimetres (39 inches) of rain fell in less than two days, said the National Fire Agency. The bodies of several missing people were found later Saturday, including a 64-year-old woman who fell into a river when riding her motorcycle in southern Pingtung county, the agency said. More than 60,000 government and civilian rescuers have been mobilised, with some 90 people evacuated to safety, the agency said.But seven people, believed to have been washed away by floods or buried alive, remained missing while eight others were injured, it said. The Central Weather Bureau has come under fire from the public, the media and even President Ma Ying-jeou for underestimating the impact of Kalmaegi, after it downgraded it from a typhoon to a tropical storm late Thursday. "The forecast predicted the storm to be weakening but the downpours it generated caught everyone off guard," Ma said, asking the bureau to review its system late Friday. However, the bureau denied it was to blame. "In a weather forecast the margin of error is inevitable," its weather forecast centre director Wu Teh-rung told reporters. The bureau urged residents in central and southern Taiwan to stay alert, although the storm was moving towards the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian. Kalmaegi also ravaged fields and farms, causing some 580 million Taiwan dollars (19 million US) in damage, the government said. Television footage showed swollen rivers and flooded streets in various parts of the island as the storm disrupted traffic and caused power failures.