Typhoon ‘Rai’, also known as ‘Odette’, has left at least 208 dead in the Philippines, mostly in the province of the Visayas, and almost 500,000 displaced, according to the latest balance of the authorities. There are also 107 injured people and 50 more missing.
The Chief of Police, General Dionardo Carlos, has given the new figure and explained that the Central Visayas province has the highest number of deaths, with 129.
In the province of Bohol there are 63 fatalities and in Negros Occidental there are 24 deaths, while the National Council for Risk Reduction and Disaster Management of the Philippines (NDRRMC) has reported 16 deaths in the province of Cebu.
In the province of Surigao del Norte there are 18 deceased, according to regional authorities and it is not clear if this figure is included in the general balance of the NDRRMC.
The typhoon hit the Philippines from Thursday through Saturday with winds of 195 kilometers per hour. Now the Police have been deployed to ensure security especially in supermarkets, where long lines are forming to purchase supplies.
In addition, the Philippine Coast Guard has reported the start of an operation to deliver supplies to families affected by the storm in Surigao del Norte: hygiene kits, food, clothing, vitamins, pillows and blankets.
As for the Government, it has announced 2,000 million pesos (about 40.03 million dollars) in aid for displaced people from the Visayas and Mindanao, explained a presidential spokesman, Karlo Nograles, quoted by the Philippine newspaper ‘Inquirer’.
Nograles has explained that the president, Rodrigo Duterte, has ordered government agencies “Use all public means” to help those affected by the passage of the storm, which includes the shipment of goods worth 1,000 million pesos (20.01 million dollars) to the affected areas through military resources.
In addition, Nograles has explained that the Ministry of Public Works and Highways is already working to unblock the roads that have been cut off.
Duterte visited the island of Siargao, the Dinagat islands and the city of Maasin on Saturday to see in person the damage caused by ‘Rai’ and has commissioned the Minister of Social Welfare and Development, Rolando Bautista, to manage the crisis in Surigao del North.
Five million people have been without electricity throughout the country due to the passage of the typhoon, which has caused significant damage in the Visayas islands and in Minadanao. The typhoon has also wreaked havoc in Malaysia, although at the moment there is no concrete data on casualties.
(with EP information)
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