‘Complete carnage’: Hundreds dead in typhoon-hit Philippines | Weather News

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The death toll from Typhoon Rai has risen to 375 in the Philippines, with aid workers reporting “complete carnage” in coastal areas where they said the storm had left homes, hospitals and schools “torn to pieces”.

The Philippine Star newspaper, citing police, said on Monday that at least 500 people were injured, while 56 others remain missing after Typhoon Rai hit the southeastern islands on Thursday.

Many are believed to have died or been injured after being hit by fallen trees, collapsed walls and other debris.

The Philippine military has dispatched troops to the area to support search and rescue efforts.

The super typhoon, which reached a speed of 195 km (121 miles) per hour, caused power outages and severe destruction in the southeastern islands.

More than half of the deaths reported by police have occurred in the central Visayas region, which includes the province of Bohol, home to some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, including dive sites.

Relief operations have accelerated but remain hampered by damage to communication and power lines, which still need to be restored in many devastated areas.

This aerial photo shows the damage caused by Super Typhoon Rai after the storm passed through the city of Surigao in the province of Surigao del Norte [Handout / Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) / AFP]
Motorists drive past signs asking for help painted on a road in the town of General Luna, on the island of Siargao, in the province of Surigao del norte, on December 19, 2021 [Roel Catoto/ AFP]

The Ministry of Social Welfare and Development said 1.8 million people were affected by the typhoon.

Rai had moved nearly 490,000 people to the Philippines before moving to the South China Sea over the weekend. It also left widespread devastation in the provinces of Cebu, Leyte and Surigao del Norte, including the popular surfing destination of Siargao and the Dinagat Islands.

At least 10 people died in Dinagat, while SOS was painted on a road in the town of General Luna on the island of Siargao. In some places people were struggling to find water and food.

“Our situation is so desperate,” said Ferry Asuncion, a street vendor in the hard-hit seaside town of Surigao.

Residents of the city were in dire need of “drinking water and food”, he said.

Others expressed frustration with the government’s response to the disaster.

“Nobody showed up – I don’t know where the politicians and [election] candidates are,” said Levi Lisondra, an elderly resident of Surigao city on the northern tip of Mindanao, visibly angry.

“We paid big taxes when we were working and now they can’t help us.”

President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to release about 2 billion Philippine pesos ($40 million) in funds for typhoon-hit provinces to help with recovery efforts.

Thousands of military, police, coastguard and firefighters have also been deployed to hard-hit areas.

Residents wait in a queue for water in Cebu City on December 18, 2021 [Cheryl Baldicantos/ AFP]

Coastguards and warships, as well as planes carrying food, water and medical supplies, were dispatched, while heavy machinery – such as backhoes and front-end loaders – was sent to help clear roads blocked by utility poles and fallen trees.

The Philippine Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal for 20 million Swiss francs ($21.7 million), saying international action is essential for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the rai.

“Filipinos are coming together bravely, but after losing everything in this savage storm, international support will enable hundreds of thousands of people to rebuild their decimated homes and livelihoods,” said Richard Gordon, President of the Cross. -Philippine red.

“Emergency teams are reporting complete carnage in coastal areas. Homes, hospitals, schools and community buildings have been ripped to shreds,” he said, adding, “It will be a long and difficult for people to rebuild and get their lives back on track.

Rai hit the Philippines at the end of the typhoon season; most cyclones usually develop between July and October.

Scientists have long warned that typhoons are getting stronger and stronger faster as the world warms due to human-induced climate change.

The Philippines – ranked among the world’s most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change – is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, which typically wipe out crops, homes and infrastructure in already impoverished areas.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in the Philippines, was the deadliest storm to make landfall at the time and left more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

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