Philippine police reported the steady growth in the number of deaths from the climate catastrophe. However, they hope that the number will continue to rise given that there are areas that are still cut off and do not have a clear record of the victims.
The Philippines is going through critical hours while suffering the serious consequences generated by the passage of Typhoon Rai, which made landfall last Friday, but the panorama worsens day after day, as rescuers advance in the affected areas.
On December 20, the police raised the death toll from the natural phenomenon to 375, triple those announced at the beginning of Sunday – which, in turn, also tripled those reported on Saturday – in an abrupt escalation that shows no signs of finish soon.
According to those in charge of helping the victims, the number of deaths is likely to rise. It happens that there are still multiple sites that have not been verified due to communication difficulties and power outages.
The devastating passage of the typhoon in the central region of the country also leaves 500 people injured and another 56 who are currently missing. Meanwhile, the damage it generated is innumerable, along with abrupt floods and landslides.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens have problems with access to services, electricity, food, water and health care, reported the ‘GMA’ channel. The poor buildings in the Philippines are weak in the face of the typhoon’s strong winds, which reached 240 kilometers per hour.
The National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC) reported that there are 442,000 people displaced from their settlements and almost a million affected by the passage of the typhoon. The entity also added that 3,800 homes were damaged, 227 localities do not have electricity and there are 41 roads and four bridges hit.
After protests by civilians due to the little reaction to this scenario, President Rodrigo Duterte asked for patience and promised the investment of 40 million dollars for rescue and recovery tasks.
Arlene Bag-ao, governor of the Dinagat Islands – one of the most affected areas – explained that this is the first typhoon to suffer severely in the southeast province. There they register at least 14 dead, 100 injured and damaged hospitals that require improvising spaces for surgery and medical care.
“If before it was like being in a washing machine, this time it was like a huge monster that crushed everywhere, grabbed anything like trees and tin roofs and then threw them everywhere,” he described.
On the other hand, the Coast Guard had to help a group of 29 tourists who remained on the island of Siargao, a destination frequented by surfers. Among them were Americans, British, Canadians, Swiss, Russians, and Chinese.
Rai is the most powerful climatic phenomenon of 2021 in a country where natural disasters are recurrent because it is located in what is called “The Pacific Ring of Fire”, the place with the most earthquakes in the world and that suffers the most from the effects of environmental crisis.
Regardless, Typhoon Rai is far from the most damaging in recent Philippine history. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan killed 7,000 people and swept away the homes of 200,000 families.
With EFE and AP