- At least 19 people were killed, and the typhoon knocked out power and communications in entire provinces, causing widespread destruction, mostly in the Philippines’ central region.
- The typhoon also wreaked havoc on the nearby island of Siargao, which is known as the Philippines’ surfing capital.
Officials said Saturday that a powerful typhoon killed at least 19 people, knocked out power and communications in entire provinces, and caused widespread destruction, mostly in the central Philippines. According to a governor, her island has been “leveled to the ground,” according to a governor.
Typhoon Rai blew away into the South China Sea late Friday night after wreaking havoc on the southern and central island provinces, where more than 300,000 people were evacuated to safety ahead of time in what officials say may have saved many lives.
Rai had sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour (168 miles per hour), making it one of the most powerful storms to hit the disaster-prone Southeast Asian archipelago, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, in recent years.
The typhoon hit the country’s southeastern coast on Thursday. However, the extent of the damage and casualties is still unknown two days later, with entire provinces still without power and cellphone service.
According to the government’s main disaster-response agency, at least 31 people were reported killed, many of whom were hit by falling trees, which added that it was validating the majority of the deaths. At least three people were hurt, and one person went missing.
Due to downed power and communication lines, officials on the Dinagat Islands, one of the first provinces to be hit by the typhoon’s ferocious winds, were cut off on Saturday.
However, the province’s governor, Arlene Bag-ao, was able to post a statement on the province’s website claiming that the island, which has a population of about 180,000 people, “has been leveled to the ground.”
Food, water, temporary shelters, fuel, hygiene kits, and medical supplies were among her requested items. Because other towns are still isolated, she said, only a few casualties have been reported in the capital so far.
“We may have survived, but due to our limited capacities as an island province, we will not be able to do so in the coming days,” Bag-ao said, adding that some of Dinagat’s hospitals would be unable to open due to damage. “Most of our commercial and cargo vessels… are no longer seaworthy, effectively cutting us off from the rest of the country.”
Vice Gov. Nilo Demerey reached a nearby province and reported to the DZMM radio network that at least six people had died, “nearly 95 percent of houses in Dinagat have no roof,” and even emergency shelters had been destroyed.
“We’re currently repairing our evacuation centers, which were also destroyed.” “There are no shelters, and the churches, gymnasiums, schools, public markets, and even the capitol have all been destroyed,” Demerey said.
On Dinagat’s website, photos show low-slung houses with blown-off or damaged roofs, surrounded by tin roof sheets and debris. The typhoon also wreaked havoc on the nearby island of Siargao, which is known as the Philippines’ surfing capital.
The coast guard said its personnel onboard rubber boats rescued residents trapped on roofs and trees as waters rose rapidly in central Bohol province, directly hit by the typhoon.
It released a video of coast guard personnel assisting people from a house’s roof to a rubber boat after being nearly engulfed by brownish floodwater.
They also assist a villager in descending from a tree above the floodwaters, while another man, also dressed in an orange life vest, waits his turn.
President Rodrigo Duterte stated he would look for money to help the provinces after government contingency funds combat the coronavirus pandemic. This weekend, he intended to travel to the devastated area.
Every year, the Philippines is hit by about 20 storms and typhoons. The archipelago is part of the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire,” making it one of the most disaster-prone countries on the planet.
Source: Global News
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