Typhoon Rai toll rises to 75 in Philippines

At least 49 people were killed in the Philippines during the passage of Typhoon Rai, the most powerful to strike the country this year, according to official reports published on Sunday, as relief efforts try to provide water and food to the devastated islands.

Governor of the tourist island of Bohol (center), Arthur Yap , announced on his Facebook page that 49 people had perished and 000 were missing in her province, according to data communicated by the mayors, bringing to 75 dead the provisional total toll of the disaster.

“Communications are still cut. Only 21 mayors on 36 have come into contact with us “, he specified.

The typhoon, accompanied by winds having reached 195 km / h, drove through central and southern Philippines on Thursday and Friday, pheasant t soar off rooftops, tearing utility poles and cutting off communications, before heading off to the South China Sea on Saturday.

Aerial photos released by the military showed damage considerable in the regions crossed, and some 238. people had to flee their homes.

Thousands of soldiers, policemen, coast guards and firefighters were deployed in the most affected areas to participate in search and rescue operations.

Heavy machines are also sent on site to clear roads blocked by trees and electricity poles.

A Philippine Navy ship delivering emergency aid is due to go to Bohol on Monday, Yap said after declaring a state of calamity on the island.

Tree uprooted in Naga in the province of Cebu in the Philippines after the passage of typhoon Rai, on 17 December 2021 (AFP – Alan Tangcawan) An overview of the affected areas showed “very clearly that our fellow citizens have suffered greatly in terms of destroyed homes and agricultural losses”, a- he lamented.

Thousands of liters of water were delivered after power cuts across the island disrupted water filling stations, Yap added. .

– 20 tropical storms per year –

The islands of Siargao, Dinagat and Mindanao have also suffered significant destruction.

Aerial images released by the army show severe damage in the town of General Luna on the island of Siargao, where surfers and holidaymakers had flocked for the holiday season, with roofs torn off and debris littering the ground.

On the island of Dinagat, the damage is “equivalent if not worse” to those caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan of 2013, according to the governor of the province, Arlene Bag-ao.

Haiyan, called Yolanda in the Philippines, was the deadliest cyclone in the country, making 7 . 300 dead.

In the town of Surigao, at the northern end of the island of Mindanao, shards of glass from shattered windows, corrugated roofing sheets, power lines and other debris were strewn through the streets.

Rai crossed the islands at 150 km / h, pouring torrential rains, uprooting trees and destroying wooden structures.

Residents near a house destroyed by Typhoon Rai, in Carcar, in the province of Cebu in the Philippines, on 18 December 2021 (AFP – VICTOR KINTANAR) It reached the South China Sea on Saturday and was heading towards Vietnam.

Rai is a particularly late typhoon in the season. Most tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean form between July and October.

Scientists have long warned that typhoons are getting stronger and stronger as global warming causes by man is accelerating.

The Philippines, ranked among the countries most exposed to climate change, is swept by nearly 20 tropical storms or typhoons every year, usually destroying crops, homes and infrastructure in already poor areas.