The Rai Nation / Super Typhoon swept the Philippines, killing 108

More than 300,000 people abandoned their houses and beach hotels after Typhoon Rai swept through the southern and central Philippines, leaving several areas without communications and power, while in other places roofs were ripped off and power poles downed. This Sunday at least 80 deaths were reported.

Arthur Yap, the governor of Bohol, a popular tourist destination, said that island mayors reported 63 deaths in their towns, bringing the number of victims from the typhoon to 89, according to the latest official figures. But the balance is likely to rise as government agencies begin to assess the totality of the disaster.

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Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines on Thursday with winds of 195 km per hour and thousands of police, military, coast guards and firefighters are currently deployed to assist in searches and rescue in affected areas.

Heavy machinery such as backhoes and tractors were used to help clear roads blocked by falling poles and trees. An aerial assessment of the damage north of Bohol made it “very clear” that people have suffered a lot in terms of destroyed houses and agricultural losses, said Yap, who declared a state of emergency on the island.

The typhoon also caused widespread destruction on the islands of Siargao, Dinagat and Mindanao. Aerial images distributed by the military showed the damage in the town of General Luna, in Siargao, where there were many surfers and tourists before the Christmas period. The images showed buildings without a roof and the floor covered in rubble.

This Sunday the tourists began to evacuate. Dinagat Governor Arlene Bag-ao said on Saturday that the damage to the island “is reminiscent of or worse” than that caused by the 2013 super typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is the deadliest cyclone on record for the Philippines, with more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

“I saw Typhoon Odette engulfed the provincial capital,” Dinagat authority spokesman Jeffrey Crisostomo told DZBB station, using the local name for Rai. “There were tables as big as a person that were blown away by the onslaught of the storm,” he said.

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In Surigao City, in northern Mindanao, the streets were covered with broken glass, steel roofing sheets and power lines. Rai’s winds dropped to 150 km per hour as it advanced across the country in torrential rains, uprooting trees and destroying wooden structures. The cyclone broke over the South China Sea on Saturday and headed for Vietnam. Rai hit the Philippines late in the typhoon season, as cyclones typically form between July and October.

Scientists have warned that typhoons are becoming more powerful and stronger faster as a result of climate change. The Philippines is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and receives about 20 typhoons and storms annually, some of devastating effects.

Source: AFP.

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The Rai Nation / Super Typhoon swept the Philippines, killing 108