The death toll due to "Super Typhoon" Rai that hit the Philippines has risen to more than 100, official tallies showed on Sunday. Rescue and relief efforts have been ramped up to reach the regions affected by the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.
Meanwhile, more than three lakh people reportedly fled from their homes and resorts at the beachfront as Typhoon Rai caused havoc in the southern and central regions of the country.
As a result of the Typhoon Rai, communications were disrupted and electricity supplies were cut off in many areas. Apart from that, roofs were ripped off, power poles were toppled, hospitals were left damaged and villages got flooded.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, on his official Facebook page, said that the mayors on the devastated island had so far reported 72 deaths in their towns. Ten people also died on the Dinagat Islands, provincial information officer Jeffrey Crisostomo told AFP.
This took the total number of reported deaths to 108, the latest official figures showed, making it one of the deadliest typhoons to hit the country in recent years. The toll is likely to rise as the disaster agencies assess the full extent of the aftermath of the storm across the archipelago.
Typhoon Rai made landfall on Thursday, packing winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour. Thousands of military, police, coast guard, and fire personnel were deployed for the search and rescue efforts in the worst-affected areas.
The coast guard and naval vessels carrying essential supplies were dispatched, while heavy machinery was being sent to help clear roads blocked by fallen power poles and trees.
Alberto Bocanegra, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Philippines said, "It's going to be a long, tough road for people to rebuild and get their lives back on track". The organisation has appealed for 20 million Swiss francs to fund urgent relief and recovery efforts.
Meanwhile, Yap said, "Our people have suffered greatly", adding that an aerial survey showed the damages to parts of Bohol, known for its beaches, rolling "Chocolate Hills", and tiny tarsier primates.