Typhoon Rai triggered landslides, floods and other accidents in southern and central Philippines, killing at least 21 people
Manila: At least 21 people had died as typhoon Rai battered southern and central Philippines, officials said on Saturday.
Thousands have been displaced and several others are feared dead. The dpa news agency reported, citing local officials, that up to 24 people were killed.
The tropical storm, one of the most powerful of the year, made landfall on Thursday, with winds up to 195 kilometers (120 miles) an hour. Rai has weakened since making landfall, being downgraded from a Category 5 storm — the highest classification — to a Category 3.
“We have lost our homes. Walls and roofs were torn and blow off by Odette like paper,” Kaka Bag-ao, the governor of Dinagat islands, located in the country’s southeast, said on Facebook.
“We have a dwindling supple of food and water,” she added.
More than 18,000 military and fire department personnel would join rescue efforts in the worst-affected regions, Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the national disaster agency told AFP news agency.
Residents salvage what’s left of the their damaged homes caused by Typhoon Rai in Cebu city, central Philippines on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.
The powerful winds have greatly damaged towns and cities, with trees uprooted, roofs torn off, and electricity lines cut.
Several villages were flooded in the wake of the storm as well.
The mayor of Mindanao island, the second-largest island of the archipelago, told a local media outlet Friday that the typhoon had ravaged Surigao city, in Mindanao’s northeast, for several hours, causing “severe” damage. Surigao city has a population of around 170,000 people.
Presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles previously said that more than 332,000 people had been evacuated from high-risk villages and around 15,000 of them had sheltered in evacuation centers.
Scores of flights were canceled and dozens of ports temporarily closed to offset the impact of the typhoon.