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Death toll in Philippine typhoon climbs to 208, 52 missing

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-20 16:35

Rescue workers evacuate residents from their flooded homes amid heavy rains brought by Super Typhoon Rai in Cagayan de Oro City, on the southern island of Mindanao on Dec 16, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

MANILA -- The death toll from Typhoon Rai that lashed the Philippines last week has climbed to 208, a spokesperson for the police said on Monday, adding that 52 more remain missing.

However, Philippine National Police spokesperson Colonel Roderick Alba only provided details of the reported 29 deaths caused by Typhoon Rai, the 15th and the most destructive typhoon to hit the Southeast Asian country this year.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported only 58 deaths on Monday. Only four of the 58 are confirmed. The agency also reported that 18 people were missing.

Bohol in the central Philippines is one of the hardest-hit by Typhoon Rai. Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said on Monday that 94 people died in his province alone, while at least 18 more are missing.

The NDRRMC said close to 1 million people have been affected by the typhoon, including 442,424 displaced residents.

The NDRRMC said the initial estimate of damage to agriculture is 118.28 million pesos (2.4 million U.S. dollars) and 225.17 million pesos (roughly 4.5 million U.S. dollars) worth of infrastructure.

On Thursday afternoon, the typhoon first slammed into Siargao Island, off the eastern coast on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

Rai lashed the Philippines for three days, causing flooding and landslides and leaving a trail of destruction in the central and southern Philippines region, including some areas in the main Luzon island.

"We are still assessing the damage, but it is huge. The typhoon leveled the entire community to the ground, no electricity, water, and food," said Defense Secretary and NDRRMC Chairman Delfin Lorenzana.

He said the government is now addressing the food, water, and medical care of those injured.

"I have directed the armed forces to deploy all available assets such as ships, boats, aircraft, and trucks to bring relief goods to the stricken areas and the deployment of troops if necessary," Lorenzana said.

Meanwhile, NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said 29 foreign nationals have been evacuated from Siargao Island, famous for surfing. "The tourists have been identified, and they are in good condition," he added.

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