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World News

At least 375 dead after Typhoon Rai hit Philippines as governor pleads for more aid


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The number of dead after powerful Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines has risen to at least 375, with 56 still missing and more than 500 injured, authorities have said.

The governor of one central Philippine province has pleaded with the government to quickly send food and other aid, warning looting could become widespread amid growing hunger.

Governor Arthur Yap of Bohol province said he could no longer secure rice and other food aid after his contingency fund ran out.

Pic: AP
Image: 56 people are missing, with 500 injured. Pic: AP

He said many of the 1.2 million people in his island province remain without power and mobile phone service five days after Typhoon Rai first struck.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Bohol over the weekend and witnessed the extensive devastation. Mr Yap said the government’s social welfare department promised to send 35,000 food packs, an inadequate amount for the province’s 375,000 families, but even those have not yet arrived.

In an interview on DZBB radio network, he thanked Duterte for visiting his province but said: “If you would not send money for food, you should send soldiers and police, because if not lootings will break out here.”

Typhoon Rai hit the Philippine archipelago with winds of more 195 km (121 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 270km (168 miles) per hour at its most lethal, before eventually blowing out into the South China Sea on Friday.

More on Philippines

Pic: AP
Image: More than 400,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm. Pic: AP

Hundreds were killed, mostly by falling trees and in flash floods. However, the death toll may still increase as emergency crews restore communications and power to towns and villages.

More than 400,000 people had to be moved to emergency shelters as the typhoon approached and while some have begun to return home, others have lost their houses entirely.

Emergency crews have been working to restore electricity to 227 cities and towns, officials said on Monday – adding that power had only been restored in 27 areas so far.

Pic: AP
Image: Looting could become widespread, one province governor has warned. Pic: AP

Mobile phone connections have been restored in at least 106 of more than 130 cities and towns but two local airports remain closed, except for emergency flights.

The Philippines has not appealed for international help, but Japan has said it is sending power generators, camping tents, sleeping pads, water containers, and tarpaulin roofing sheets to hard hit regions.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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