The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year has topped 100, official tallies showed on Sunday, as the government struggles to deliver emergency food aid to the most devastated areas of the country.
The overall number of reported deaths stands at 108, according to AFP.
More than 300,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Typhoon Rai ravaged the southern and central regions of the archipelago.
The super typhoon, which smashed into the country Thursday with a wind speeds of 195 kilometres per hour, has ripped off roofs and toppled concrete power poles while knocking out communications and electricity.
Arthur Yap, governor of the popular tourist destination Bohol, said at least 72 people died,10 others were missing and 13 injured. He suggested the fatalities may still considerably increase as some areas still unreachable by emergency and disaster management staff.
Yap said only 33 out of 48 mayors able to report back to him due to downed communications.
Thousands of military, police, coast guard and fire personnel are being deployed to assist in search and rescue efforts in the worst-affected areas.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade also said in a statement on Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to direct the needed resources to help those in need.
“Rest assured, we will deliver,” Tugade said.
A Philippine Navy ship carrying goods and other relief would depart for Bohol on Monday, Yap said, after he earlier declared a state of calamity on the island.
There has also been widespread destruction on Siargao, Dinagat and Mindanao islands, which bore the brunt of Rai when it slammed into the Philippines.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons every year, which typically wipe out harvests, homes and infrastructure in already impoverished areas.