Updated Dec 20, 2021 - World

Death toll in Philippines from Typhoon Rai surpasses 300

 residents stand next to a destroyed market building after typhoon rai
Residents stand next to a destroyed market building in General Luna town, Siargao island, a day after super Typhoon Rai devastated the island in the Philippines. Photo: Kate Hughes/AFP via Getty Images

Philippine officials said Monday the death toll from Typhoon Rai has climbed to 375 and more than 50 people were still missing, per AP.

Driving the news: Rai was a super typhoon upon initial landfall and was the strongest storm to strike the Philippines this year, with the equivalent strength of a Category 5 hurricane. It caused widespread power and communications outages and injured at least 500 people.

  • More than 700,000 people have been affected by the typhoon, which is called Odette in the Philippines, and more than 400,000 people were preemptively evacuated, officials said, according to AP.

The big picture: 94 storm-related deaths have been confirmed so far in Bohol in the central Philippines, according to a statement from the province's governor, Arthur Yap, on Monday.

  • "Many areas have no power, no communications, very little water," Philippine Red Cross chair Richard Gordon told the BBC.
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte toured parts of the devastation Saturday and pledged to give 2 billion pesos (about $40 million) in aid, according to AP.
  • Rai was south of China on Monday and has weakened to a Category 1 storm.

Context: While typhoons occur frequently in the Philippines, experts have warned that climate change may exacerbate these storms and make them more frequent, per WashPost.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: When it hit the Philippines, Rai may have been the strongest storm to make landfall anywhere in the world in 2021.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further details on the storm and the latest death, injury and missing persons tolls.

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