Super Typhoon Rai, which had winds of around 195km/h (120mph), sent about 400,000 people fleeing to safety as it struck the country’s southern-eastern islands.

Local police reported 56 missing persons and at least 500 were hurt.

Rescue teams described scenes of “complete destruction”

It is hard to determine the extent of the losses because communication has been cut to several areas.

It is possible that flooding and widespread landslides could have caused more deaths.

Richard Gordon, chair of the Philippines Red Cross said to the BBC that “Many regions have no power, communications or very little water.”

“Some areas look worse than World War Two.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched an emergency appeal for 20 million Swiss Francs (PS16m; £22m) in order to help fund long-term relief efforts.

“Red Cross emergency team are reporting complete carnage on the coast areas,” Mr Gordon stated. “Homes and hospitals, schools, community buildings, and school buildings were torn apart.”

He said that volunteers are present to provide urgent assistance “for people who’ve lost everything”.

To aid in search and rescue efforts, thousands of military, fire and coast guard personnel were deployed to the worst-affected parts of the country.

Naval vessels and military aircraft are helping the most affected areas.

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine President, has been conducting an aerial inspection in the affected areas.

His aides posted videos on social media showing extensive damage to Siargao and Mindanao islands.

Arlene Bagao, the governor of Dinagat islands said that the typhoon had “levelled the ground” in the region.

In a message to Rappler, she stated that “the fields and boats of our fishermen and farmers have been decimated.” “[W]e lost our homes. Walls and roofs were torn off There is a decreasing supply of food, water, and other necessities.

She stated that the damage was “reminiscent of, if it is worse than, Yolanda’s impact on our province.”

In 2013, more than 6000 people were killed by Typhoon Haiyan, also known as the storm. It is still the deadliest storm to hit the country.

Each year, the Philippines is hit by approximately 20 storms or typhoons.

Super Typhoon Rai, the strongest cyclone to strike the Philippines in 2021 is late in the typhoon season. Most cyclones develop between July and October.

Scientists warn that rising temperatures are making typhoons stronger and more powerful, as a result of man-made climate change.