More than 80 dead in Philippines super typhoon

TEHRAN, Dec. 19 (MNA) – More than 80 people have been reported killed in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, official tallies showed Sunday, as efforts to deliver water and food to devastated islands ramped up.

More than 300,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Typhoon Rai ravaged the southern and central regions of the archipelago, NDTV reported.

The storm knocked out communications and electricity in many areas, ripped off roofs, toppled concrete power poles and flooded villages.

Arthur Yap, governor of the popular tourist destination Bohol, said on his official Facebook page that mayors on the devastated island had so far reported 63 deaths in their towns.

That took the overall number of reported deaths to 89, according to the latest official figures.

But the toll was likely to rise as disaster agencies assessed the full extent of the death and destruction from the storm across the vast archipelago.

Rai smashed into the country Thursday as a super typhoon packing wind speeds of 195 kilometres (120 miles) per hour.

Thousands of military, police, coast guard and fire personnel are being deployed to assist in search and rescue efforts in the worst-affected areas.

Coast guard and naval vessels carrying food, water and medical supplies are being dispatched, while heavy machinery -- like backhoes and front-end loaders -- are being sent to help clear roads blocked by fallen power poles and trees.

Charities and emergency services have appealed for donations.

An aerial survey of damage to parts of Bohol -- known for its beaches, rolling "Chocolate Hills", and tiny tarsier primates -- showed "our people have suffered greatly", Yap said.


News Code 181943


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