Death toll in Philippines from Typhoon Rai climbs to 208: police

Published December 20, 2021
In this photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, toppled trees lie along an empty road in Surigao del Norte province, southern Philippines on  Saturday. — AP
In this photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, toppled trees lie along an empty road in Surigao del Norte province, southern Philippines on Saturday. — AP

The death toll in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Rai has risen to 208, after the storm carved a trail of destruction in central and southern provinces late last week, the national police spokesperson said on Monday.

There were 52 people still missing, according to police data, as relief efforts continued following one of the deadliest typhoons to have struck the Southeast Asian country.

The police have been mobilised for relief operations and to ensure order in calamity stricken areas, national police spokesperson Roderick Alba said.

The number of casualties cited by police was far higher than the 58 deaths recorded by the national disaster agency up to now. The agency said it was still validating reports from affected regions.

More than half of the deaths reported by police were fatalities in the central Visayas region, which includes Bohol province, home to some of the country's most-popular tourist destinations, including dive spots.

On Sunday, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap reported 74 deaths in his province, citing partial reports that he said had been verified by both the health department and local government officials.

Relief operations have been accelerating but remain hampered by damage caused to communication and power lines, which have yet to be restored in many devastated areas.

Rai had displaced nearly 490,000 people in the Philippines before it moved toward the South China Sea over the weekend, also leaving huge destruction in the provinces of Cebu, Leyte, and Surigao del Norte, including the popular Siargao surfing destination, and Dinagat Islands.

President Rodrigo Duterte has committed to release around 2 billion pesos ($40 million) in funds to typhoon-hit provinces to help in recovery efforts.

Opinion

Editorial

Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...
Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...