Philippines villagers dying of dehydration amid a shortage of clean water following Typhoon Rai, reports say

Lack of clean water in the island nation is leading to dehydration deaths

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 22 December 2021 11:13
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Mass evacuations as super Typhoon Rai slams into Philippines

At least two people in typhoon-ravaged Philippines died due to dehydration on Monday because of the lack of clean drinking water.

According to local media, the deaths took place in the Dapa village of Siargao Island, days after typhoon Rai made landfall.

Local broadcaster RMN Tacloban quoted health officials as saying that there was no clean water supply in the area and the village needed a generator and fuel to run the water refilling stations.

Residents that bore the brunt of Rai pleaded for food, water, and shelter as damaged roads and severed communication lines hampered relief efforts.

Rai, the strongest typhoon to hit the archipelago this year, killed nearly 400 people and displaced over 630,000, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The storm, known locally as Odette, slammed into the eastern island of Siargao with winds up to 210 km/hr, leaving a trail of destruction on its path.

"Our food supply is running low. Maybe, in a few days, we will totally run out," Fely Pedrablanca, mayor of Tubajon town on Dinagat Island said.

A woman sits beside damaged homes due to Typhoon Rai

The coast guard has deployed vessels to help in relief work in cut off areas, while the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has offered to ferry people to safety, including stranded tourists.

"We're fighting a tremendous disaster. It's Haiyan all over again," PRC Chairman Richard Gordon told Reuters, referring to the cyclone that killed 6,300 people in 2013.

Meanwhile, president Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered state agencies to restore power and promised 10bn pesos ($20m) for recovery efforts.

The governor of the central Bohol province, where at least 100 have died in the storm's aftermath, asked the federal government for money and food aid for battered citizens.

"If you would not send money for food, you should send soldiers and police, because if not, lootings will break out here," governor Arthur Yap said after thanking president Duterte for visiting Bohol over the weekend.

The federal administration’s social welfare department has vowed to help the homeless and displaced locals with 35,000 food packets after the president’s visit.

Damaged houses caused by Typhoon Rai at a coastal village in Surigao del Norte province

The Philippines' neighbours Japan and China have come together to help the nation with power generators, camping tents, sleeping pads, food packets and rice.

In the past three decades, the Philippines has recorded at least 205 tropical cyclones, the highest of any Asian country, according to EM-DAT, a publicly available database on disasters run by the University of Louvain.

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