Death Toll Surges to 208 as Super Typhoon Rai Hits Philippines
It is reportedly one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country in the recent years.
As many as 208 people in the Philippines died from the "deadliest storm of the year," Typhoon Rai, which hit the country with wind speeds of 195 kilometres (120 miles) per hour on Thursday, 16 December, as a super typhoon. It is reportedly one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country in the recent years.
Police tally showed that at least 239 people were injured and 52 were missing after Typhoon Rai wreaked havoc at the central and southern regions of the archipelago nation, reported AFP.
More than 3,00,000 people moved out of their houses and beachfront resorts as the typhoon ravaged the country.
Communication and Electricity Lines Cut Off
Coastal areas have witnessed "complete carnage," said the Philippine Red Cross. Its Chairperson Richard Gordan had earlier said that homes, community buildings, hospitals, and schools were "ripped to shreds".
Communication and electricity lines have been cut off at several areas following the storm, blocking efforts of disaster agencies to assess the complete extent of damage. Besides, the typhoon also tore off roofs, damaged wooden houses, caused flooding, and uprooted trees.
Due to the extensive damage it has caused, the typhoon is being compared with Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in 2013. It was the deadliest recorded cyclone in the country that left 7,300 people dead or missing.
Bohol, which is known for its beaches and rolling "Chocolate Hills and tiny tarsier primates" was one of the worst-hit, this time. At least 74 persons from the region have died, said, provincial Governor Arthur Yap on his official Facebook page.
Widespread destruction was also reported at Siargao, Dinagat, and Mindanao islands. Provincial information officer Jeffrey Crisostomo told AFP on Sunday that at least 10 people died at Dinagat islands.
Military, police, and the coast guard have been deployed in large numbers to carry out search and rescue operations. Heavy machinery has been sent to clear roads blocked by fallen trees and power poles.
(With inputs from AFP.)
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