The deadliest natural disaster in the Philippines this year, Super Typhoon Rai, has raised the death toll to 300. Hundreds more are displaced and many are still unreported and missing as the authorities scramble to manage and control the damage.
The Super Typhoon Rai initially started with 260 kilometers (160 miles) per hour winds, which according to the weather report is known as a Category 5 storm. Further stats coming out of the region are even more devastating. The Bohol province in the Central Visayas was most affected, with more than 75% of homes in the area severely damaged. 227 cities faced power outages, with more than 25 flights canceled as well. Among those, power has been restored only in 21 areas so far.
239 other people have suffered considerable injuries with further 52 people missing, according to Philippine National Police. Assistant secretary at the Office of the Civil Defense Casiano Monilla did a press conference declaring the estimated cost of all the damages so far to be at least $4.5 million.
Photos and footage from after the Super Typhoon Rai show devastating results with streets flooded, houses, electric poles and more toppled over due to the intensity of the winds. Search and rescue is still underway in the location, with volunteers and workers going to dangerous levels to wade through water and rubble to find and evacuate citizens.
Governor Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands also declared the Super Typhoon Rai more ferocious than Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon on record that devastated Philippines in 2013.
Bag-ao said, “If it was like being in a washing machine before, this time there was like a huge monster that smashed itself everywhere, grabbed anything like trees and tin roofs and then hurled them everywhere. The wind was swirling north to south to east and west repeatedly for six hours. Some tin roof sheets were blown away then were tossed back.”
The Philippines was hit with fourteen other storms this year, making the Super Typhoon Rai the 15th storm, even though it decreased in intensity over time. Philippines as a Southeast Asian archipelago is one of the most disaster-prone countries. The storm in South China Sea is now off the coast of Vietnam as it gets closer to Hainan, China, but not as intense and deadly.