LOBOC: On Tuesday, as charities appealed for assistance to help hundreds of thousands of people become homeless due to the deadly storm, troops raced to deliver food and water to the typhoon-ravaged islands of the Philippines on Tuesday.
On Thursday, Typhoon Rai struck the southern and central areas of the archipelago, destroying wooden houses, trees and power outages throughout the island, killing at least 375 people and injuring hundreds.
“Never in my entire life have I encountered such a typhoon,” said Catholic Bishop Antonieto Cabajog in Surigao, on the northern tip of Mindanao island.
“To say ‘super’ is an understatement,” he told a Catholic church-run news agency.
More than 400,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centres or with relatives, the national disaster agency said, after their homes were damaged or destroyed by the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.
One of the hardest-hit islands was Bohol — known for its beaches and dive spots — where at least 96 people have died, provincial Governor Arthur Yap said on Facebook.
The island has declared a state of disaster, and people are sitting under umbrellas next to empty buckets.
Ye said that the province has run out of money and begged President Rodrigo Duterte’s government to buy food and drinking water for desperate families.
“If you won’t send money to buy food, send soldiers and police because there will be looting here,” Yap warned during an interview with radio station DZBB.
While other parts of the Philippines celebrated Christmas, Bohol was “undergoing a Yolanda-like situation”, he added, using the local name for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
On nearby Negros island, Carl Arapoc, 23, told AFP there was no electricity in his city and his family was using “driftwood” to cook.
“A gallon of water used to cost 25 pesos (50 cents), now it’s 50 pesos,” he complained.
There has also been widespread destruction on Siargao, Dinagat and Mindanao islands, which bore the brunt of the storm, packing winds of 195 kilometres (120 miles) per hour.