- "The likelihood is present that the casualty count will still increase. We're hoping against it," disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told the AFP news agency.
- The Philippines is a country where the Catholic faithful is the majority, and Pope Francis has already reacted to the deadly typhoon tragedy.
- Phanfone also followed the same trajectory as the Typhoon Haiyan, which crossed the islands with devastating force in 2013.
The death toll after Typhoon Phanfone struck the Philippines is increasing, and the typhoon has so far claimed the lives of at least 28 people. In the meantime, the typhoon has weakened considerably and has left the country. With gusts of wind up to 200 kilometers per hour, Typhoon Phanfone swept across the Philippines just before Christmas, from the east to the west of the islands.
Phanfone left more than 25,000 people trapped at airports and ports during peak season, with dozens of flights cancelled. The typhoon caused landslides, flooded villages, destroyed homes, and felled trees and power poles. The power of the typhoon was devastating. The earlier toll was sixteen dead as of yesterday morning, but according to the authorities this morning it had risen to 28.
It is taking a long time for the latest information to be released because the islands are often very remote and there is currently no mobile network. There is also a possibility that the death toll will still rise since at least twelve people are still missing. “The likelihood is present that the casualty count will still increase. We’re hoping against it,” disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told the AFP news agency.
The Typhoon Victims
Details have since emerged that among the victims were also several members of the same family who drowned. A police officer was electrocuted, and another man died when a coconut tree fell on him.
The Philippines is a country where the Catholic faithful is the majority, and Pope Francis has already reacted to the deadly typhoon tragedy. “I join in the pain that hit the dear population of the Philippines because of the Typhoon Phanfone,” a Catholic News Agency report quoted the Pope as saying. “I pray for the many victims, for the wounded and their families,” the Pope added.
Due to the severe effects of the typhoon, many residents who live close to the sea or in flood areas had to flee their homes and were forced to celebrate Christmas in the evacuation centers.
Twenty-One Typhoons in 2019
It is worth noting that about twenty typhoons hit the Philippines each year. The island lies in the so-called Ring of Fire, a region prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Every time the typhoons strike, whole villages are swept away, and as such, the typhoon disasters are greatly attributed to the poverty that is evident in parts of the country. With Phanfone, the total number of typhoons in the Philippines this year is a whopping twenty-one. At the beginning of December, typhoon Kammuri was still roaming the island, and it ended up claiming seventeen lives.
Phanfone also followed the same trajectory as the Typhoon Haiyan, which crossed the islands with devastating force in 2013, leading to more than 7,300 deaths and displacements. It was the deadliest typhoon in the history of the Philippines.