Typhoon leaves 31 dead, many homes roofless in Philippines

By JIM GOMEZ Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A powerful typhoon has left at least 31 people dead in the Philippines, knocked down power and cellphone services in entire provinces and wrought widespread destruction.

A governor says her island was leveled to the ground.

Typhoon Rai blew away Friday night into the South China Sea.

More than 300,000 people were evacuated before the storm hit in a move credited with saving lives. 

Dinagat Islands, one of the first to be lashed, remained cut off Saturday but its governor, Arlene Bag-ao, still managed to post a statement on the province's website saying the region of about 180,000 has been leveled.

She said only a few casualties have been reported in the provincial capital so far because other towns remain isolated.

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