Duterte declares state of calamity in typhoon-ravaged areas in Philippines

 Duterte declares state of calamity in typhoon-ravaged areas in Philippines  Image

Manila, Dec 22 (IANS) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of calamity in several regions to speed up relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Rai that ravaged central and southern Philippine last week.

In a taped public address aired late Tuesday, Duterte placed Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga regions under the state of calamity due to the impact of the typhoon, Xinhua news agency reported.

'I have decided to declare a state of calamity. I will sign it now,' Duterte said, adding that these worst-affected areas have suffered massive destruction and loss of life.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 156 people died from the typhoon, while the Philippine National Police reported at least 375 deaths. Many more are missing or injured.

On Thursday afternoon, Typhoon Rai first swept across Siargao Island, off the eastern coast on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines. It lashed the Southeast Asian country for three days, causing flooding and landslides.

Rai exited the Philippines on Saturday, leaving a trail of destruction in the central and southern Philippines, including some areas in the main Luzon island.

The Chinese government on Tuesday started distributing relief supplies to help thousands of victims in the typhoon-ravaged areas.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said that Chinese relief goods are on the way. 'Our hearts go out to all the Filipino families who were devastated by Typhoon Rai, which has caused massive casualties as well as property loss,' Huang said in a statement.





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