Philippines: more than 20 dead after typhoon Rai

Philippines: more than 20 dead following the passage of Typhoon Rai

MISE & Agrave; DAY

At least 23 people have been killed by the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, authorities said on Saturday, who reported “alarming” destruction on the islands that suffered the stronger than the storm. & nbsp;

& nbsp; More than 300,000 people have had to flee their homes since Thursday because of the typhoon that ravaged the south and the center of the country, according to the Philippine National Natural Disaster Agency. & Nbsp;

Rai was described as a “super-typhoon” when it made landfall Thursday, on the tourist island of Siargao, accompanied by winds of 195km/h. & Nbsp;

Friday, the wind speed s' was lowered to 155km/h, according to the Philippine Meteorological Agency. It crossed the northern part of Palawan Island, a popular tourist destination late Friday afternoon, before heading out to the South China Sea, heading for Vietnam. & Nbsp;

Aerial photos shared by the military showed extensive damage in the town of General Luna, where many surfers and vacationers had flocked before Christmas, with buildings without roofs and debris littering the ground. & Nbsp;

< p>The neighboring island of Dinagat was “wiped out” by the storm, Governor Arlene Bag-ao wrote on Facebook, adding that houses, boats and fields had been destroyed. “The walls and roofs were ripped off and blown up by Odette like paper,” Bag-ao said, using the typhoon's local name. “Our food and water reserves are dwindling. Electricity and telecommunications are down, “he added.

& nbsp;” This is one of the strongest storms to hit the Philippines in December over the past decade, “Alberto Bocanegra, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Philippines, told AFP. & nbsp;

“The information we receive and the images we receive are very alarming.” The overall death toll is at least 23, according to official counts.

More than 18,000 soldiers, police, coast guard and firefighters will join search and rescue efforts in the most affected regions, Mark Timbal, spokesperson for the national disaster agency, told AFP. “There has been significant damage” in Surigao and Siargao, the areas that suffered the most from the typhoon, said Mr. Timbal.

Siargao Island has a population of around 100,000 and attracts many surfers and passing vacationers. At least three people have been killed and dozens more injured in Surigao, city mayor Ernesto Matugas told ABS-CBN television station, bringing the total death toll to 21.

< p> Generalized destruction & nbsp; & nbsp;

On the island of Dinagat, where the typhoon killed six people in less than six months, residents “are trying to repair their houses because even our evacuation centers have been demolished” declared the vice-governor of this region in the eastern part of the country. country Nilo Demerey on ABS-CBN TV channel. “They cannot take refuge elsewhere … everything has been destroyed,” he lamented. & Nbsp;

Vice President Leni Robredo tweeted photos of crowded gas stations and people queuing for clean water in central Cebu province, where the country's second busiest airport was damaged and flights suspended . & nbsp; & nbsp;

Mr. Bocanegra has warned that power cuts will affect the water supply, raising concerns over sanitary conditions. & Nbsp;

Rai is a particularly late-season typhoon. Most tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean form between July and October. Scientists have long warned that typhoons are getting stronger and stronger as human-induced global warming accelerates.

The Philippines, considered one of the most vulnerable countries to global warming, are struck each year by twenty typhoons which often wreak havoc on homes, crops and infrastructure in already very poor regions.

& nbsp; The deadliest cyclone on record in the Philippines is “super-typhoon” Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 dead or missing in 2013.

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