Super Typhoon Roy, locally known as Oded, made landfall Thursday on the island of Sierra Leone, a popular tourist and surfing destination on the Middle East coast. It initially had winds of 260 kilometers (160 mph) — equivalent to a Type 5 storm.
As Roy traveled west across the Philippines, he tore down houses, smashed trees and electricity poles, and destroyed communities.
The death toll is expected to rise further as search and rescue operations continue after an initial disruption by power and telecommunications.
As of Monday, about 52 people were missing and 239 had suffered «significant injuries,» according to the Philippine National Police.
Cassiano Monila, assistant secretary of the Office of Civil Defense, told a news conference Monday that about 75% of the houses in Bohol province in the central Visayas region were damaged. At least 227 cities and municipalities experienced power outages and 25 flights were canceled.
The estimated cost of the damage is more than $ 4.5 million, Monila said.
Aerial photographs released by the Philippine Coast Guard reveal the extent of the damage in the Negro Occidental province in western Visayas. Roads and fields are flooded for miles after heavy rains.
Workers are floating deep in the floodwaters to evacuate civilians from disaster-stricken areas. About 332,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Friday.
The storm hit several densely populated areas, including Cebu, a city of nearly 1 million people.
Two of the country’s three largest archipelagos and more than 30 transmission lines in Vizag and Mindanao, with populations of more than 45 million, were out of order.
Many buildings collapsed in the badly affected areas. Residents could be seen chasing through the mud and debris to save everything they could from their damaged homes.
Roy was the 15th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. It was reduced in intensity and is now a storm with winds of up to 165 kilometers (103 mph), equivalent to a Type 2 storm.
The storm is currently located in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam and is expected to weaken further as it approaches the Chinese city of Hainan in the next 24 hours.