It was not the violence of the typhoon that surprised the Filipinos in an archipelago permanently ravaged by this kind of storm, it was the late period of its arrival: typhoon Rai, whose death toll rose, Tuesday, December 21 , with nearly 400 dead, struck the center of the country at a time when, normally, the cyclone season is over.
« With the arrival, in mid-December, of this typhoon classified in category 5 of “super typhoons”, we can therefore see that the 2021 season will have lasted all year round in the areas bordering the Pacific ”, observes the site of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, an American NGO whose objective is to raise funds to help victims of natural disasters. Typhoon Rai, which began its work of destruction on Thursday, December 16, is the ninth to hit the Philippines since the start of the year, and the second to reach Category 5 on the Saffir scale -Simpson based on the strength of the winds.
Pushed by Rai, winds of 185 to 230 kilometers per hour caused impressive destruction on their passage in the region of the Visayas – a known tourist destination – that of the province of Cebu and in the municipality of Cagayan de Oro, located in the north of the large southern island of Mindanao. In addition to the many victims who have perished since the end of last week, the national police report a toll of 500 injured and 250 missing. An assessment still provisional, even if the typhoon has now receded. The tropical cyclone also displaced half a million people.
“Scenes of carnage”
The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Control Council (NDRRMC) reported that tens of thousands of villages were on the route of the typhoon, which had a range of approximately 400 kilometers. This organization added that 181,500 families were affected (around 700,000 people) in 2,209 barangays, the smallest administrative unit in the Philippines – the equivalent of a township. Most of the victims lived in the province of Bohol, located in the central Visayas, which divers appreciate for its beautiful seabed.
Philippine Red Cross President Senator Richard Gordon said Typhoon Rai was one of the strongest to hit the Philippines recently, with the archipelago facing around 20 severe tropical storms each year. varying intensities. The strongest typhoon to hit the country remains Haiyan, which killed 6,500 people in November 2013. “Our teams report scenes of complete carnage on the coasts, homes, schools and administrative buildings have been reduced to crumbs”, added the senator.
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In the Philippines, the violence of Typhoon Rai