The Philippines was struck with this year’s strongest storm earlier this week, causing severe destruction and chaos.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte thanked Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for offering assistance to provinces hit by Typhoon Odette.
In a statement from the president’s office, Duterte conveyed his “sincerest appreciation” to Sheikh Tamim “for the expression of sympathy and solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Rai (Odette) during a telephone conversation held on 21 December 2021.”
Duterte also welcomed the Qatari amir’s offer to help rehabilitate affected communities in the Visayas and northern Mindanao regions.
“The two leaders instructed their respective secretary and minister of interior government to coordinate directly to facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance from Qatar,” the statement read.
The president had earlier announced that areas hit by Typhoon Odette, including Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga were “under a state of calamity”, according to Philippine News Agency.
“The proclamation is meant to hasten the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance.”
Several areas in the southeast of the country were struck with the year’s strongest storm on Thursday.
The Odette cyclone, the 15th typhoon to hit the country in 2021, has caused major devastation and damage to residential areas, infrastructure, properties, and agriculture.
At least 258 deaths have been recorded. Latest figures from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council show 568 have been injured, and 47 others are still missing.
In his statement, Duterte added that Doha “is and (will) always be a friend of the Philippines” and thanked the Qatari government for the “humane treatment of Filipinos living and working in Qatar,” PNA reported.
In response, Sheikh Tamim said Filipinos are appreciated in in his country and wished the president success during his tenure.