The World Daily
Philippines death toll rising amid food shortages, following typhoon

People affected by the typhoon Rai gather during a distribution of relief goods, in Surigao City on Monday Photo:Mascarinas/Greenpeace/ via Reuters 


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | DECEMBER 21st 2021 


At least 392 people were pronounced dead, and around 500 are injured following the destructive Typhoon Rai that had torn through the Southern and Central regions of the Philippines the previous week.

The death toll is expected to rise still, with the high number of injured people, and a severe lack of humanitarian aid in certain parts of the region. Food and water shortages are growing notable as well, with two deaths related to dehydration having been reported so far.

The mayor of Tubajon, a town on the island of Dinagat, Fely Pedrablanca, said that the food supply of her town is gradually running low. If aid isn’t quick to come, there may be an issue arising very soon – an issue reflected all over the country at the moment. “Maybe in a few days, we will totally run out,” she said.

According to the Associated Press, there are 56 people still missing amidst the chaos that followed the typhoon, which was the strongest of the 15 storms to have hit the country over the course of the past year.

The affected people are counted as over 700,000, and as for the people displaced from their homes; there have been found to be over 400,000. The Philippines Red Cross themselves had described the aftermath as “complete carnage.”

“There’s no water any more, there’s a water shortage, on day one there was already looting in our neighbourhood,” said Siargao resort owner Marja O’Donnell to CNN Philippines. In the absence of humanitarian aid, officials had issued warnings about potential looters all over the affected parts of the archipelago, especially those where contact has been cut off.

Governor Arthur Yap in Bohol had reported similar issues, with the lack of food resulting in the beginning of looting across his province, particularly in merchandise stores, which he fears may worsen if the conditions grow more desperate – the contingency fund has also reportedly run out. With a population of around 1.2 million people, the situation is severe. 


Yap had thanked the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for paying a visit to his province over the weekend during an interview with DZBB radio network, but had stressed that, “If you would not send money for food, you should send soldiers and police, because if not, lootings will break out here.”

According to emergency crews, work is currently being put in to restore the power in 227 cities and towns. As of Monday, only 21 areas had their electricity restored, however, and progress is currently slow going.

China stated that it would be sending 20,000 food packs, and Japan had announced it would also send camping tents, sleeping pads, water containers, power generators and some tarpaulin roofing in order to aid in the crisis.

Machinery had been sent to clear roads, and food and water had been dispatched to wherever possible, alongside military, police, coast guard and fire personnel to wherever they’re most needed in the country, but aid is still far from ideal.

“We paid big taxes when we were working and now they can’t help us,” said an angry resident in Surigao, Levi Lisondra. 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021 

Source: The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Independent