Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 8:04:12 PM

Typhoon Rai in Philippines: Death toll reaches 75

International desk
World
Typhoon Rai
At least 75 people are now known to have died after a devastating storm struck the Philippines on Thursday.

Super Typhoon Rai - with winds of about 195km/h (120mph) - sent some 300,000 people running for safety when it hit the country's south-eastern islands.

Initial aerial images of the worst-hit regions show extensive damage.

But establishing the scale of the losses has proved difficult, as communication to a number of areas has been cut off.

Arthur C. Yap, governor of the popular tourist destination Bohol, said that less than half his region's 48 mayors had managed to make contact as yet.

Bohol's current death toll stands at 49, Mr. Yap said, with at least 10 more missing.

To assist with search and rescue efforts, thousands of military, coast guard, and fire personnel have been deployed in the country's worst-affected areas.

Meanwhile, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has conducted an aerial inspection of the areas ravaged by the storm.

Videos posted on social media by his aides show extensive damage to Siargao, Dinagat, and Mindanao islands.

The governor of the Dinagat Islands, Arlene "Kaka" J. Bag-ao, had earlier taken to Facebook to say the region had been "levelled to the ground" by the typhoon.

"The fields and boats of our farmers and fisherfolk have been decimated," she said in the message quoted by news site Rappler.

"We have lost our homes. Walls and roofs were torn and blown off…. We have a dwindling supply of food and water."

Super Typhoon Rai is the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2021 and comes late in the region's typhoon season - with most cyclones developing between July and October.

Scientists have long warned that rising global temperatures, induced by man-made climate change, are causing typhoons to become more powerful and strengthen more rapidly.

Voice TV/IA
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