Philippines observes Christmas amid devastating Typhoon Rai

During the typhoon Rai disaster, more than 371,000 homes were either devastated or blown away.

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Typhoon ria
(Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Following a powerful typhoon Rai that claimed the lives of at least 375 people and destroyed mostly central island regions last week, hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines, Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation, celebrated Christmas on Saturday without apartments, appropriate food, and water, electricity, or cellphone connections.

During the typhoon Rai disaster, more than 371,000 homes were either devastated or blown away.

After a frightening surge in COVID-related deaths, millions of people resorted to retail malls, public parks, and churches before Typhoon Rai struck on Dec.16.

With increased immunizations and reduced quarantine rules, the 19 infections in September have declined dramatically in recent weeks, decreasing the occurrence of omicron cases in the country to just three so far.

On Saturday, Governor Arthur Yap of the hard-hit Bohol province urged foreign aid agencies for assistance in providing temporary shelters and water-filtration systems to support Philippine government aid. More than 100 people perished in the storm, and approximately 150,000 homes were either blown away or destroyed.

Yap, while expressing his concerns to AP, he said

I refuse to believe that there’s no Christmas spirit today among our people. They’re conservative Catholics. But it’s obviously very muted. There is overwhelming fear, there are no gifts, there were no Christmas Eve dinners, there is none of that today.

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