Philippines: At least 121 people dead after Typhoon Rai hits country

·2-min read

At least 121 people have died in the Philippines after its strongest typhoon of the year caused devastation across the country.

Governor Arthur Yap of Bohol province, which is in the country's Central Visayas region, announced 72 deaths have been recorded in the area.

At least 39 other typhoon deaths were reported by the disaster-response agency and the national police.

Nearly 100,000 evacuated after Typhoon Rai hits the Philippines

Officials on Dinagat Islands, one of the southeastern provinces first pounded by the typhoon, separately reported 10 deaths just from a few towns, bringing the overall fatalities so far to 121.

However, Mr Yap has warned the number of fatalities may still increase as only 42 of 48 mayors in Bohol have been able to report back to him due to downed communications.

A further 10 people have been reported missed and 13 have been injured in Typhoon Rai - which at its most powerful packed winds of 121mph.

Hundreds of areas left without electricity

In statements posted on Facebook, Mr Yap ordered mayors in his province of more than 1.2 million people to invoke their emergency powers to secure a large number of food packages and drinking water.

He added that it was an urgent problem since water stations were down due to a power outage caused by the typhoon.

At least 227 towns and cities were left without electricity due to the extreme weather event, with only 21 areas since having their power restored, officials said.

The Philippine Coastguard said on Sunday that a total of 869 passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers remain stranded on vessels in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and North Eastern Mindanao and 163 boats are still taking shelter as a precautionary measure.

Elderly and baby rescued from flood waters after Philippines hit by storm

More than 300,000 people forced to evacuate

The country has been hit with landslides and extensive flooding due to the typhoon which rampaged through the central island provinces on Thursday and Friday.

The government said about 780,000 people were affected, including more than 300,000 residents who had to evacuate their homes.

Floodwaters rose rapidly in Bohol's riverside town of Lobo, where locals were trapped on their roofs and up trees until they could be rescued by the coast guard.

On Dinagar Islands, an official said the roofs of nearly all the houses, including emergency shelters, had been damaged or blown away.

President Rodrigo Duterte flew to the region on Saturday where he promised to provide two billion pesos (£30 million) in aid.

He is due to visit Bohol province on Sunday.

Three regional airports were also damaged in the typhoon, two of which still remain closed.

Unfortunately, such an event isn't rare in the Philippines, with around 20 storms and typhoons battering the country each year.

The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire region, making it one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

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