Disasters & Accidents

Typhoon Rai toll exceeds 400 in Philippines

Bangkok, Dec 31 (EFE).- The death toll due to the disaster triggered by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines two weeks ago has reached 405, the authorities said Friday.

Eighty-two people remain missing, while 1,147 have suffered injuries in the calamity that affected 4.4 million Filipinos and displaced more than 500,000, the Philippine disaster management agency said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) released the new figures after verifying and corroborating the data of different agencies on the ground.

Rai made landfall on Dec.16, carrying winds up to 240 km per hour.

It passed over some nine islands in the archipelago, leaving a trail of destruction with more than 500,000 houses damaged, some completely.

The disaster caused estimated damage of more than 23,400 million Philippine pesos (about $458 million) to residential structures, public infrastructure, and crops.

The Philippine government declared a state of calamity Wednesday in the six regions hit by the devastating typhoon, locally known as Odette.

It was the 15th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year that ripped off the roofs and damaged infrastructure due to the flooding and landslides that cut off communications.

The typhoon struck at a critical moment amid widespread fear over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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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