Disasters & Accidents

Emergency efforts underway after Typhoon Rai devastates Philippines

Bangkok, Dec 19 (EFE).- Emergency services continued on Sunday for rescue and repair efforts following Typhoon Rai’s passage through the Philippines that left at least 31 people dead and over 488,000 displaced in the central parts of the archipelago.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said more than 3,700 homes and 22 roads got damaged while 227 towns were without power.

The typhoon, locally known as Odette and the 15th to hit the Philippines this year, passed through some nine islands where it ripped off the roofs and damaged many buildings.

The typhoon, which made landfall on Thursday with winds of up to 240 km per hour (149 mph), left the Philippines on Saturday after causing flooding and landslides that cut off communications in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

More than 1,700 passengers were stranded due to the damage caused by the typhoon at the ports, the Philippine Coast Guard said Sunday.

Many provinces, including Cebu, Bohol, and Guimaras, have been declared disaster areas due to the damage inflicted by the typhoon.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines yearly.

The most destructive, so far, has been Super Typhoon Haiyan – the largest known to make landfall – which struck Samar and Leyte islands in November 2013, killing some 7,000 people and leaving 200,000 homeless.

The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change due to natural disasters and sits on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area that sees about 90 percent of the planet’s seismic and volcanic activity. EFE


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