Status: 18.12.2021 10:41 a.m.
At least 23 people died in the Philippines as a result of a tropical storm. Hundreds of thousands had to flee, the full extent of the destruction is still unclear. In the meantime the storm has moved on.
In the Philippines, the death toll from tropical storm “Rai” has risen to more than 23. According to the national disaster agency, most of them were killed by trees. More than 18,000 emergency services were mobilized for search and rescue measures in the most severely affected regions.
Especially on the holiday island of Siargao and the northern tip of Mindanao island, “severe damage” occurred. There were also fatalities on the island of Dinagat. The governor of the Dinagat Islands asked for food and other help. “Rai” razed the area, said Arlene Bag-ao. In Bohol Province, the coast guard rescued people from roofs and trees with rubber dinghies.
Several provinces were hit by the typhoon.
Extent of destruction still unclear
The full extent of the destruction is still unclear because the tropical storm cut power and communication links. The Dinagat Islands hit first are still cut off. The typhoon covered almost 95 percent of the houses, said Lieutenant Governor Nilo Demerey. Even emergency shelters were destroyed. Some hospitals could not open because of the damage, said Governor Bag-ao. Most of the ships are not operational. The whole of Dinagat is practically isolated. “We may have survived, but we will not make it in the coming days because we have limited capacities as an island province,” said Bag-ao.
The head of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in the Philippines, Alberto Bocanegra, warned that the interruption to the electricity supply would affect the water supply. This raises hygiene and disease concerns.
More than 300,000 people displaced
The typhoon wreaked havoc on several islands in the south of the country on Thursday and Friday, power lines were torn down and numerous villages flooded. He displaced more than 300,000 people. Many of them have since sought refuge in emergency shelters.
“Rai” had attacked the Philippines with wind speeds of up to 270 kilometers per hour – and was classified as a “super typhoon”. Meanwhile, the storm has moved on to the South China Sea.
About 20 typhoons a year
The storm hit the Philippines at the end of the typhoon season. Most violent cyclones develop between July and October. The Southeast Asian island nation is hit by an average of around 20 typhoons every year.
Due to climate change and the resulting rise in sea temperatures, hurricanes are increasing in number and intensity. The worst typhoon so far, “Haiyan”, killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013. More than four million people had to flee.
Typhoon over the Philippines: Hundreds of thousands had fled
Lena Bodewein, ARD Singapore, December 17, 2021 9:47 am