Rai was called
super typhoon when it made landfall on Thursday, on the tourist island of Siargao, accompanied by winds of 195 km / h.
Everything was flying, it was like the end of the world, told the AFP Raphy Repdos, a tour operator visiting the island during the storm.
More than 300,000 people have had to flee their homes since Thursday due to the typhoon that devastated the south and center of the country, according to the National Agency for Natural Disasters of the Philippines.
It crossed the northern popular tourist destination of Palawan Island in late Friday afternoon with winds of 155 km / h according to the National Meteorological Agency, before heading away towards the South China Sea. , in the direction of Vietnam.
Aerial photos shared by the military showed extensive damage in the town of General Luna, where many surfers and vacationers had flocked before Christmas, with buildings without roofs and debris littering the ground.
The neighboring island of Dinagat was
shaved by the storm, Gov. Arlene Bag-ao wrote on Facebook, adding that houses, boats and fields had been destroyed.
The walls and roofs were torn off and blown away by Odette like papersaid Bag-ao, using the typhoon’s local name.
Our food and water reserves are dwindling. Electricity and telecommunications are down, he added.
It is one of the strongest storms to hit the Philippines in December in the past decade., told the AFP Alberto Bocanegra, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Philippines.
The information we receive and the images we receive are very alarming.
More than 18,000 military, police, coast guard and firefighters will join search and rescue efforts in worst-affected areas, theAFP Mark Timbal, spokesperson for the national disaster agency.
There was significant damage in Surigao and Siargao, the areas that suffered the most from the typhoon, said Mr. Timbal.
Siargao Island has around 100,000 inhabitants and attracts many surfers and passing vacationers.
The toll was increased after the announcement of the disaster manager of the central province of Negros Occidental, who confirmed the death of 13 people, most of them by drowning, and the disappearance of 50 others in an area affected by the floods.
We started urging people to evacuate as early as Wednesday, but many were reluctant to leave, told the AFP Salvador Mesa.
On the island of Dinagat, where the typhoon killed six people at least, residents
are trying to fix their homes, because even our evacuation centers have been demolished the vice-governor of this region in the east of the country, Nilo Demerey, told the ABS-CBN television channel.
They cannot take refuge elsewhere … everything has been destroyed, he lamented.
Bocanegra warned that the power cuts would affect the water supply, raising concerns about sanitary conditions.
Rai is a particularly late typhoon in the season. Most tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean form between July and October.
Scientists have long warned that typhoons are getting stronger and stronger as man-made global warming accelerates.
The Philippines, considered one of the countries most vulnerable to global warming, is struck each year by around 20 typhoons which often wreak havoc on homes, crops and infrastructure in already very poor regions.
The deadliest cyclone on record in the Philippines is “Super Typhoon Haiyan”, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.