Officials said on Monday that after the strongest typhoon that hit the Philippines this year, the death toll has risen to more than 200, with 52 people still missing. Several central towns and provinces are struggling to cope with communication interruptions and power outages, and begging for food and water.
At its strongest, the typhoon hit the South China Sea on Friday with sustained wind speeds of 195 kilometers (121 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 270 km/h (168 mph).
According to the National Police, at least 208 people were killed, 52 were missing, and 239 were injured. Although large-scale cleaning and maintenance work is underway as the weather improves, several towns and villages are still unreachable due to communication interruptions, power outages and road blockages, so tolls are expected to increase. Many of the dead were hit by fallen trees or walls, flooded or buried alive by landslides. According to the police, in Negros Occidental province, a 57-year-old man was found hanged from a tree branch, and a woman was blown away by the wind and died in the same severely affected area.
Arlene Bag-ao, the governor of the Dinagat Islands, was one of the first southeastern provinces to be hit by the typhoon. She said that the island provinces that depended on more than 130,000 people on her island were more ferocious than Typhoon Haiyan. To make matters worse, Haiyan was one of the most powerful and deadly typhoons on record, which destroyed the central Philippines in November 2013, but did not cause any casualties in Dinagat.
Baao told the Associated Press on the phone: "If it was like in a washing machine before, this time it was like a huge monster, smashing itself everywhere, grabbing things like trees and tin roofs, and throwing them everywhere. "
“The wind repeatedly rotated from north to south to east to west for six hours. Some tin roofs were blown away and then thrown back.” Bag-ao said that at least 14 villagers were killed by splashing tin roofs, shards and glass shards. Death and more than 100 people were injured. They were treated in the temporary operating room of the damaged hospital in Dinagat. She said that if thousands of residents were not evacuated from high-risk villages before the typhoon arrived, more people would die.
Like several other provinces hit by typhoons, Dinagat still lacks electricity and communications. Many residents in the province have torn off the roofs of most houses and buildings, requiring construction materials, food and water.
Bag-ao and other provincial officials went to nearby areas with cell phone signals for assistance and coordinated restoration work with the central government. More than 700,000 people were hit by the typhoon in the central island provinces, and more than 400,000 of them had to be transferred to emergency shelters.
The police, soldiers and coast guard rescued thousands of residents, including the severely affected town of Loboc, a riverside town in Bohol province, where residents were trapped on roofs and trees to avoid rising floods.
Officials said emergency workers are scrambling to restore electricity and mobile phone services in at least 227 towns, adding that three regional airports have also been damaged.
Bag-ao and other officials expressed concern that their provinces may run out of fuel, due to the use of temporary generators, including those in cold storage warehouses used to store large stocks of coronavirus vaccines, and fuel demand is high. Officials delivered vaccines to many provinces to step up immunization campaigns, which were postponed by the typhoon last week.
In the Vatican, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the Filipino people on Sunday, mentioning that the typhoon "destroyed many houses." About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea every year. The Southeast Asian archipelago is also located in the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire" area, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff, it was automatically generated from the joint feed.)
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