Speed Reads

worse and worse

Death toll from Philippines typhoon reaches 169

The typhoon that ravaged the central Philippines on Thursday and Friday has killed at least 169 people, the BBC reports.

According to The Associated Press, the death toll is likely to continue rising as isolated towns that suffered communications outages re-establish contact with authorities. Most of the deaths resulted from falling trees and walls, flash floods, and landslides.

Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao, governor of the hard-hit Dinagat Islands, said her province's main island had been "leveled to the ground," leaving its 180,000 inhabitants desperate for shelter, clean water, and other necessities.

Richard Gordon, chair of the Philippines Red Cross, said there are "some areas that look like it has been bombed worse than World War II."

Winds gusted as high as 168 mph, making Typhoon Rai — also known as Typhoon Odette — one of the most powerful typhoons to hit the Philippines in recent years. The New York Post reports that over 300,000 people were preemptively evacuated. Over 780,000 were affected in some form or another. 

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the region Saturday and promised aid.