FNearly 100 people were killed in the Philippines as a result of super typhoon Ray. As of Sunday, authorities on the stricken island have reported 99 deaths, with more happening after the worst Tornado Missing in the Southeast Asian island nation this year. More than 300,000 people were forced to flee, and many could no longer return home.
The “Ray”, which the locals call “Odette”, swept through the southern and central regions of the Philippines on Thursday and Friday. Roofs flew off, electricity pylons fell and many villages were flooded. In many areas, power supplies and the telephone network have been paralyzed.
Bohol Holiday District Governor Arthur Yap said on his Facebook page on Sunday that mayors of the stricken island have now reported 63 deaths in their areas. A spokesman for the county authorities said 10 more people had died on the Dynagat Islands. This increased the total number of reported deaths to 99.
Search and rescue work continues
The number of victims could increase even more. Search and rescue work in the hardest-hit areas of the vast archipelago is far from over. Thousands of troops from the military, police, coast guard and firefighters are also using excavators to clear blocked roads and using ships to supply cut-off areas with water, food and medical aid.
The president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Philippines, Alberto Bocanegra, said that reconstruction would be “a long and hard road for the people”. In an appeal for donations, the organization requested the equivalent of 19 million euros to fund urgent relief and reconstruction measures.
The holiday island of Siargao and the northern tip of Mindanao was also severely damaged. Tour guide Ravi Ribdos reported from Siargao Island, where a large number of surfers and vacationers were staying in the run-up to Christmas.” Photos released by the military show that in the most important town on the island, countless homes of General Luna were destroyed and tourists were taken from Island by plane and boat on Sunday.
From neighboring Dinaghat Island, Governor Arleen Bagh Ao reported that the entire island was “devastated”. Houses, boats and fields were destroyed. “Walls and ceilings were torn down and blown up as if they were made of paper.” The damage can be compared with the damage caused by super typhoon Haiyan in 2013. At that time, more than 7,300 people were killed or reported missing since then.
Ray made landfall in Siargao on Thursday with winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour. The classification as a super hurricane corresponds to a Category 5 hurricane in the United States. Globally, about five storms of this strength typically occur each year. Ray hit the Philippines at the end of typhoon season. Most violent hurricanes occur between July and October.