Philippines Typhoon: The death toll from Super Typhoon Rai, (Odette), rises as more areas are cut off from help

Super Typhoon Rai (also known locally by Odette) has now claimed at most 375 lives since it ripped through archipelago late last Wednesday, CNN affiliate CNN Philippines reported. Citing the Philippine National Police, CNN Philippines reported. The PNP reported that at least 515 people were injured and 56 remain missing.

Rescue operations are continuing to confirm more deaths. Aid workers must reach remote areas that are blocked by debris-filled roads and waterlogged roads. Some even have no internet or telephone connections.

Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, stated Tuesday that five bridges in Palawan were destroyed by the storm. According to official 2020 figures, the western province is home to nearly 1 million people.

“Homes are totally destroyed. Gordon stated that we are working to get urgent supplies, including water, food, and medicine. “Communities are completely cut off.”

Gordon appealed to the international community for funds to support emergency rescue efforts.

He said, “Millions of people are affected by this Typhoon, and supplies have become scarce.”

Rai, the 15th Typhoon to strike the Philippines this year made landfall at Siargao Island, a popular tourist spot and surfing destination in northeast Mindanao’s Caraga region. It initially had winds of up to 160 miles an hour, equivalent to a Category-5 storm.

Although many storm preparations and preemptive evacuations were initiated earlier in the week when heavy rains began to fall, millions of people still felt vulnerable.

Rai, on its way west, tore down trees, homes, and power cables. It also brought heavy rains, flooding, and landslides. The storm destroyed entire communities, and made hundreds of thousands homeless.

Surigao City is one of the worst-hit areas. Survivors were seen calling out for food and water in the midst of uprooted trees, and even electricity poles. Police were seen taking down broken branches from roads.

Residents stand in front of damaged homes following Typhoon Rai in Talisay, Cebu province, central Philippines on December 18, 2021.

Save the Children estimates that at least 4.1million children were affected by the Typhoon. It said that more than 16,000 families from Caraga, which was hard hit by the typhoon, are currently sheltering in cramped evacuation centres.

Jerome Balinton is the humanitarian manager for the organization. He said that the possibility of diseases spreading to these facilities is a matter of “great concern”.

Balinton stated, “We are seeing the emergence water-borne illnesses including diarrhea.” “Sanitation has become a significant problem in these evacuation centers. We worry about the safety of millions of children, especially those most at risk, as the Philippines continues to fight Covid-19.

Balinton expressed concern for the longer-term problems that may arise from the typhoon’s devastation. These include food security, education, and other issues.

Balinton stated that although we are still not able to determine the extent of the damage, schools have suffered widespread destruction. “This disaster can expose more vulnerable communities to exploitation.”

The destruction was reminiscent of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, also known locally by Yolanda. It struck the Philippines on November 2013. This storm was among the most destructive to hit the country and killed more than 6000 people. The powerful winds and huge storm surge caused extensive power outages and destroyed many roads.