By Hajira Khota
According to local media, two Filipinos who escaped Typhoon Rai’s damage died of dehydration, as people in storm-ravaged districts sought for food and water and officials warned of probable looting in the absence of immediate humanitarian aid.
On Tuesday, the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rose to at least 392 in the hard-hit island of Siargao.
Rai, the biggest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, made landfall on the archipelago last Thursday. Aid workers in storm-affected areas have described the typhoon as “total carnage,” with homes, schools, and hospitals blasted to shreds.
The storm toppled power and telecommunication lines, many regions remain cut off, impeding relief efforts.
Fely Pedrablanca, the mayor of Tubajon on the island of Dinagat, claimed her town’s food supply was running low.
President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to transfer approximately 2 billion Philippine pesos ($40 million) to typhoon-affected provinces to aid with recovery efforts, and has mobilized hundreds of military, police, coastguard, and fire personnel to assist in rescue and recovery activities.
The typhoon wreaked havoc on almost a million people, including over 400,000 who were forced to flee to emergency shelters as the storm neared.
The Philippines, which lies along the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common, is hit by about 20 tropical storms and typhoons each year, making the Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.