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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Thunderstorm deaths top 140 in the Philippines; Mayors’ plea for food

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll in the worst storm to hit the Philippines this year has reached at least 146, and the governor of an island province particularly affected by Typhoon Rai said there could be even greater devastation. Information not yet received. ,

Governor Arthur Yap of the province of Bohol in the central Philippines said there were 72 dead, 10 others missing and 13 injured, and suggested the deaths could still rise significantly as only 33 of the 48 mayors downed communications. Was able to report back. , Officials were trying to confirm a high number of deaths due to landslides and widespread flooding elsewhere.

In statements posted to Facebook, Yap ordered more than 1.2 million people in his province to apply his emergency powers to secure food packs for a large number of people with drinking water. Both have been immediately searched in many inaccessible cities.

After engaging in a military aerial survey of cities devastated by the storm, Yap said, “It is very clear that the damage from Bohol is huge and widespread.”

Philippines Typhoon
Fallen trees lie along an empty road in Surigao del Norte province in the southern Philippines on December 18, 2021. (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

He said the initial inspection did not cover the four cities where thunderstorms tore through the Central Island provinces on Thursday and Friday. The government said about 780,000 people were affected, including more than 300,000 residents who had to evacuate their homes.

At least 64 other deaths from the typhoon were reported by the disaster-response agency, national police and local officials. Most were affected by falling trees and walls, drowned in floods or buried in landslides. Authorities in the Dinagat Islands, one of the southeastern provinces previously hit by the typhoon, reported 10 isolated deaths from some cities, bringing the total deaths so far to 146.

President Rodrigo Duterte flew to the region on Saturday and promised 2 billion pesos ($40 million) in aid. He met with officials in the city of Maasin in southern Leyte province where he was born. Duterte’s family later relocated to the southern city of Davao, where he served as mayor for a long time before rising to the presidency.

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“The moment I was born into this world, I told my mother, ‘Let’s not stay here because this place is really prone to thunderstorms,'” Duterte told officials.

At its strongest, the typhoon packed sustained winds of 195 kph (121 mph) and gusts of 270 kph (168 mph), making it the disaster-prone archipelago in recent years. Became one of the most powerful to hit, which is a lie. Between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

Flood waters rose rapidly in Bohol’s riverside town of Lobok, where residents were trapped in their roofs and trees. They were rescued by the Coast Guard the next day. On the Dinagat Islands, an official said the roofs of almost all homes, including emergency shelters, were either damaged or completely blown up.

Power went out in at least 227 cities and towns, which has been restored in only 21 areas, officials said, adding that three regional airports were damaged, two of which are closed.

The typhoon deaths and widespread damage before Christmas in the largely Roman Catholic nation brought back memories of the devastation caused by another hurricane, Haiyan, one of the most powerful on record. It affected several central provinces, which were looted last week, killing more than 6,300 people in November 2013.

About 20 hurricanes and tornadoes occur in the Philippines each year. The archipelago is also located along the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire”, making it one of the countries most susceptible to natural disasters.

The Associated Press

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