In the Philippines, the typhoon kills 389


The death toll from the heaviest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year has risen to 389, of which 64 are still missing, according to the national disaster agency.

More than four million people in central and southern provinces were affected by Typhoon Rai, including 570,906 displaced, the agency said on Monday.

The Rai also destroyed and damaged more than 22 billion pesos (AU $ 607 million) of private and public infrastructure as well as agricultural crops, he added.

Rai slammed into the country’s east coast on December 16, flattening houses, damaging buildings and public infrastructure, uprooting trees and causing flooding and landslides.

Power and communication lines were also cut in the worst affected areas, and many areas are not expected to receive electricity until January.

One of the hard-hit areas was central Bohol province, which reported 109 deaths on Monday. Neighboring Cebu province has reported at least 96 deaths.

Emergency teams and aid workers compared the damage Rai caused to Haiyan, the most severe typhoon on record in the Philippines.

Haiyan killed 6,300 people and displaced more than four million people in November 2013.

The Philippine archipelago is hit on average by 20 tropical cyclones each year.

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