More than 30 people were killed in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, official figures showed Saturday, with a charity reporting “alarming” destruction on islands that bore the brunt of the storm. Hundreds of thousands fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Typhoon Rai ravaged the southern and central regions of the archipelago, knocking out communications and electricity in many areas, ripping off roofs and toppling concrete power poles. Rai was a super typhoon when it smashed into the popular tourist island of Siargao on Thursday, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour (120 miles per hour). Aerial photos shared by the military showed widespread damage in the town of General Luna, where many surfers and holidaymakers had flocked ahead of Christmas, with buildings stripped of roofs and debris littering the ground. “Everything was flying, it was as if it was the end of the world,” RaphyRepdos, a tour operator visiting the island when the storm hit, told AFP. “The wind sounded angry and roaring, as if it wanted to demolish the building.” The neighbouring island of Dinagat had been “levelled to the ground” by the storm, Governor Arlene Bag-ao wrote on Facebook, saying houses, boats and fields were destroyed. “Walls and roofs were torn and blown off by Odette like paper,” Bag-ao said, using the local name for the typhoon.