At least 33 left dead in Philippines after severe typhoon Rai (VIDEO)

14:30, 18 December 2021
At least 33 left dead in Philippines after severe typhoon Rai (VIDEO) Photo: NASA

Typhoon Rai, also known as Typhoon Odette, left thousands of citizens homeless or without power and communications.

On Saturday Filipino authorities announced that at least 33 people had been killed by the strongest storm to hit the Philippines in 2021, Typhoon Rai. Dozens of other residents have gone missing.

The initial death toll has been increased after the government of the Negros Occidental province declared another 13 victims, most of them drowned, while around 50 others went missing.

“We have started to evacuate people since Wednesday but many of them were reluctant to leave,” official Salvador Mesa commented.

Rai, which has recently intensified into a Category 5 super typhoon, hit predominantly southern and central island provinces of the country where over 300,000 had to be evacuated.

As it reached its strongest point, the typhoon made winds of 120 mph (195 km/h) and gusts of up to 168 mph (270 km/h).

It first hit the country on Thursday but the extent of the damage done could not be assessed until the weekend due to Rai’s departure and power, transport, and communication outages.

“Most of our commercial and cargo vessels are now unsuitable for sea voyages, effectively cutting us off from the rest of the country,” said the governor of the Dinagat Islands province Arlene Bag-ao.

Some provinces have been flooded after the nature disaster leaving dozens of citizens trapped on roofs and trees.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to pay a visit to the regions on Saturday and Sunday, as well as raise funds to aid the provinces.

In October the country reported nine deaths following tropical cyclone Kompasu while a month earlier typhoon Chanthu had hammered the northern Philippines.