1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Scores dead after Typhoon Rai batters Philippines

December 19, 2021

Local officials are informing the public through social media posts about the extent of damage in their own regions, with one official saying at least 72 died in his province. Emergency rescue operations are under way.

Residents salvage belongings from their destroyed homes in the coastal town of Dulag in Leyte province on December 17, 2021, a day after Super typhoon Rai hit.
Hundreds of towns and cities have lost electricity, putting a strain on water resources Image: Bobbie Alota/AFP/Getty Images

More than 100 people have died in the Philippines after Typhoon Rai battered the archipelago this week, officials said on Sunday.

Among the dead are 72 people who died in the Bohol province of central Philippines, regional Governor Arthur Yap said. 

Several others are missing or injured, and Yap suggested that fatalities would likely rise given the devastation from the typhoon.

Yap was only reporting numbers he received after speaking with 33 out of 48 mayors since communication lines remained down in several areas. He ordered mayors to invoke their emergency powers to secure food and water for people, saying a strain on water supplies was an urgent problem at the moment.

Yap posted statements on Facebook, telling people it was clear to him that damage in Bohol was "great and all-encompassing."

More than 400, 000 people were housed in temporary shelters as of Sunday, the country's national disaster agency said in its daily morning update on the situation. The government previously said around 780,000 people had been affected, which included people housed at temporary shelters.

Home damaged due to Typhoon Rai in Talisay, Cebu province, central Philippines on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.
Typhoon Rai devastated homes, uprooted trees and blew roofs from housesImage: Jay Labra/AP Photo/picture alliance

Ten people also died in the southern Dinagat Islands, said provincial chief information officer Jeffrey Crisostomo. It's not clear whether these deaths were also included in the official tally from the disaster agency, which remained at 31.

The national disaster agency said it was waiting on an official report from Bohol before it could update its death toll.

Typhoon Rai, among the most powerful storms to have hit Philippines this year, has now moved toward the South China Sea.

rm/aw (AP, Reuters)