Philippines’s death toll from Typhoon Rai exceeds 400

The Philippine death toll from Typhoon Rai has crossed the 400 mark, the disaster agency said on December 31.

Houses in Bais city of the Philippines are destroyed by Typhoon Rai. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Houses in Bais city of the Philippines are destroyed by Typhoon Rai. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Officials in some hard-hit provinces appealed for more supplies of food, water and shelter materials about two weeks after the storm struck.

Rai was the 15th and deadliest typhoon to hit the Southeast Asian nation this year.

Reported deaths had reached 405, mostly due to drowning, fallen trees and landslides, said Ricardo Jalad, chief of the national disaster agency. As many as 82 people were missing and 1,147 injured.

More than 530,000 houses were damaged, a third of which were totally wrecked, while damage to infrastructure and agriculture was estimated at 23.4 billion PHP (459 million USD).

The typhoon affected nearly 4.5 million people, including about 500,000 sheltering in evacuation centres, the Philippine government data showed.

It made landfall on December 16, and left a trail of destruction in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Surigao del Norte, including the holiday island of Siargao, and the Dinagat Islands.

In central Philippine provinces, disaster and government officials have been grappling with inadequate relief supplies for thousands of residents still without power and water.

Rai's swath of destruction revived memories of typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, which killed 6,300 people in the Philippines in 2013.