According to the governor of a hard-hit province, food, water, and other essential supplies are urgently needed. Officials said Saturday that a severe storm killed 31 people, knocked out electricity and communications in entire regions, and caused significant destruction, especially in the central Philippines.
Typhoon Rai, locally known as Odette, made landfall in the South China Sea on Friday night after tearing across the southern and central island provinces, evacuating more than 300,000 people in its path.
The storm had sustained winds of 195 km/h. It gusted up to 270 km/h at its peak, making it one of the most powerful storms to batter the disaster-prone Southeast Asian archipelago between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea in recent years. The typhoon hit the country’s southern coast on Thursday, but the amount of the damage and casualties are still unknown two days later, with entire provinces still without power and mobile service.
Nearly 31 people have been reported dead, many of them as a result of falling trees, according to the government’s top disaster-response organisation. Still, the number could change as officials validate local accounts.
The coast guard said its troops on board rubber boats rescued residents caught on roofs and trees as floods rose swiftly in central Bohol province, directly impacted by the hurricane. It uploaded a video of coast guard personnel assisting individuals from a house’s roof to a rubber boat after being nearly swamped by brownish floodwater. They also assist a villager in descending from a tree above the floodwaters, as another man, also dressed in an orange life vest, waits his turn.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he would hunt for money to help the provinces after government contingency funds were utilised to combat the coronavirus pandemic. This weekend, he intended to travel to the damaged area. Every year, the Philippines is hit by about 20 storms and typhoons.
Source: CBC News