Typhoon Rai: Death toll in Philippines increases to 375

Death toll is expected to rise with at least 500 other people injured and more than 55 missing

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 20 December 2021 13:50
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Death toll from typhoon Rai climbs up to 208 in the Philippines

The death toll from Typhoon Rai has risen to 375 after it ravaged the Philippines’ southern and central regions last week.

The national police said on Monday that the death toll estimate had increased from the previous count of 208 that was reported earlier in the day.

At least 500 other people were also injured while 56 are missing, the Associated Press reported.

Military airplanes and naval vessels were dispatched on Monday to carry aid to devastated areas, as the country grappled with the strongest of 15 such storms to hit the archipelago this year.

The island of Bohol has been one of the worst hit from the typhoon, locally known as Odette.

At least 94 people died in Bohol, provincial governor Arthur Yap said on his official Facebook page on Monday.

Widespread destruction has also been reported from the Dinagat, Siargao and Mindanao islands.

In Dinagat, one of the first provinces to be hit by the typhoon, Governor Arlene Bag-ao said at least 14 people died and more than 100 others were injured by flying tin roofs, debris and glass shards and are now being treated at makeshift hospitals, agencies reported.

Over 700,000 people have been affected and 400,000 displaced after the typhoon rampaged through the Philippines’ central island provinces on Thursday and Friday before moving toward the South China Sea.

At its strongest, the typhoon recorded winds as high as high as 195 km/h with gusts of up to 270 km/h, reported AP.

It left behind a trail of destruction, that has been described by the Philippines Red Cross as “complete carnage” in coastal areas.

The death toll is expected to increase as several towns and villages have remained out of reach because of snapped communication lines, power outages and road blockages.

Police, coast guard and other emergency services have been scrambling to restore electricity and cellphone services in at least 227 cities and towns, officials said.

Three regional airports have also been damaged, officials added.

On Saturday, president Rodrigo Duterte conducted an aerial inspection of some of the areas hit by the typhoon, including Siargao, Surigao city, Dinagat and Maasin city in the Southern Leyte province, reported the state-run Philippine news agency.

Typhoon Rai has been compared with super typhoon Haiyan that had hit the Philippines in 2013.

Haiyan is regarded as the deadliest cyclone on record in the country, that left more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

While the Philippines is hit by an average of about 20 storms every year, the country is considered to be one of the most vulnerable to the climate crisis, with typhoons and severe weather conditions becoming more frequent due to global warming.

Typhoon Rai was the 15th storm to hit the Philippines this year, according to CNN.

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