At least 208 people have died after a powerful storm hit the Philippines on Thursday, police reported to local media.
Super Typhoon Rai with winds of around 195 km / h (120 mph) sent around 300,000 people running to safety when it struck the islands in the southeast of the country. At least 239 people were injured and 52 others were reported missing by local police.
Rescue teams described the scenes as “complete carnage”. But determining the extent of the losses is difficult, as communication with a number of areas has been cut. There are fears that widespread landslides and flooding have claimed more lives.
“Many areas have no electricity, no communication, very little water,” Philippine Red Cross president Richard Gordon told the BBC. “There are areas that appear to have been bombed worse than WWII. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched an emergency appeal asking for 20 million Swiss francs (£ 16 million; $ 22 million) to fund long “emergency teams of the Red Cross are reporting complete carnage in coastal areas, ”Gordon said.
“Homes, hospitals, schools and community buildings were torn apart.Volunteers are on site to provide emergency aid “to people who have lost everything,” he said. Thousands of military personnel, coast guards and firefighters have been deployed to the worst affected areas of the country to assist in search and rescue operations.
Meanwhile, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte carried out an aerial survey of areas devastated by the storm. Videos posted on social networks by his employees show considerable damage on the islands of Siargao, Dinagat and Mindanao.
Governor of the Dinagat Islands, Arlene Bagao, said on Facebook that the area was “wiped out” by the typhoon. He said the damage “reminds, if not worse, when Yolanda hit our province.” More than 6,000 people died when the storm, also known as Typhoon Haiyan, hit the country in 2013. It remains the deadliest storm on record in the country.
On average, around 20 storms and typhoons strike the Philippines each year. hit the Philippines in 2021 and arrives there during the region’s typhoon season, with most cyclones developing between July and October.Scientists have long warned that rising global temperatures, induced by man-made climate change, make typhoons stronger and grow faster.