Typhoon misery in Philippines, pandemic dampen Christmas joy

National & World News

Alona Nacua carries her son passing over debris from their damaged house due to Typhoon Rai in Cebu city, central Philippines on Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021. Nacua said she and her husband managed to receive rice and four small cans of sardines and corned beef so they could feed their family Saturday. “It’s the saddest Christmas for me, seeing my children suffer this way on this day,” added Nacua, who is pregnant with her fourth child. (AP Photo/Jay Labra)

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (Associated Press) – Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines, Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation, are marking Christmas without homes, adequate food and water, electricity and cellphone connections after a powerful typhoon left at least 375 people dead last week and devastated mostly central island provinces.

Elsewhere, New Zealanders are celebrating Christmas in the warmth of mid-summer with few restrictions, in one of the few countries in the world largely untouched by the omicron variant of COVID-19, and Australia is marking the holiday amid a surge of COVID-19 cases, worse than at any stage of the pandemic.

And adding more pain for travelers, airlines around the world canceled hundreds of flights as the omicron variant jumbled schedules and drew down staffing levels

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