The feared death toll from Typhoon Rai has risen to at least 33 people, as rescue teams reach damaged areas and communication lines are restored.

The Philippine Coast Guard has shared photos on social media showing widespread destruction around Surigao City on Mindanao.
The Philippine Coast Guard has shared photos on social media showing widespread destruction around Surigao City on Mindanao. (AFP)

More than 30 people have been killed in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, official figures showed.

Four people were confirmed dead after being hit by falling trees and another 27 people are feared to have died as a result of Typhoon Rai, the country's disaster agency said in a statement on Saturday.

A disaster official in the central province of Negros Occidental told AFP New Agency that another 50 people were missing in a flood-hit area.

Rai was the 15th and among the deadliest of the tropical storms to strike the Philippine archipelago this year, driving more than 300,000 people to shelter in evacuation centres. 

The hard-hit central provinces of Cebu and Bohol declared a state of calamity to access disaster funds and imposed a price freeze on basic goods. 

READ MORE: Deadly typhoon Rai sends hundreds of thousands fleeing

Hundreds of thousands evacuated

Hundreds of thousands fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Typhoon Rai ravaged the southern and central regions of the archipelago on Thursday.

Some 309,000 people remain in evacuation centres, data from the disaster agency showed.

The storm knocked out communications and electricity in many areas, ripping off roofs and toppling concrete power poles. Many areas were still without power on Saturday.

More than 18,000 military, police, coast guard and fire personnel will join search and rescue efforts in the worst-affected regions, Mark Timbal, spokesman for the national disaster agency, told AFP.

READ MORE: Tens of thousands evacuate as super typhoon Rai slams into Philippines

Islands 'levelled to the ground'

Rai was a super typhoon when it smashed into the popular tourist island of Siargao, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour.

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.

"Odette (local name for Rai) was really strong. Almost 95 percent of houses in Dinagat Island are without a roof," Nilo Demerey, vice governor of Surigao del Norte province, told a local radio station.

Rai's wind speeds eased to 150 kilometres per hour as it barrelled across the country, dumping torrential rain that flooded villages, uprooting trees and shattering wooden structures.

It emerged over the South China Sea on Saturday and was headed towards Vietnam, the state weather forecaster said.

READ MORE: Several dead after heavy rains trigger floods in north China, Philippines

Source: TRTWorld and agencies