The toll from the strongest typhoon to have hit the Philippines this year has increased to 208, AFP quoted the police as saying on Monday.

This makes Typhoon Rai, one of the deadliest storms to have hit the archipelago in recent years.

At least 239 persons sustained injuries and 52 were missing after the typhoon swept across the southeast Asian country, according to the police. Over 3,00,000 fled their homes.

Over half of the deaths reported were from the Visayas region in the central part of the Philippines, Reuters reported. The region includes the Bohol province, which has some of the country’s most popular tourist spots.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap on Sunday cited preliminary reports that 74 residents had died in his province.

Jeffrey Crisostomo, the provincial information officer of the Dinagat Islands, told AFP that 10 people had died in the region.

Relief efforts

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to release funds of about 2 billion pesos (around Rs 3.04 billion) for recovery work in typhoon-affected areas, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, police personnel have been mobilised for relief work and to ensure order is maintained in the affected regions, national police spokesperson Roderick Alba said. However, damage to communication and power lines has hampered relief operations in many areas.

The local unit of the Red Cross said that there was “complete carnage” in coastal regions, according to AFP. “Homes, hospitals, school and community buildings have been ripped to shreds,” Richard Gordon said.

Authorities have dispatched coast guard and naval vessels with food, water and medical supplies. They have also deployed machines to clear roads blocked by fallen electricity poles and trees.

According to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace in 2019, the Philippines is the most vulnerable country in the world to climate impacts, The Guardian noted.

Scientists have often linked human-induced climate change with an increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as typhoons.