From strong winds to raging floodwaters: Typhoon Rai hits Philippines

Strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding were seen across parts of central and southern Philippines as Typhoon Rai rapidly intensified to a Category 5 storm, forcing mass evacuations and flight cancellations.

Let's take a look:

Category 5 storm

Typhoon Rai rapidly intensified to a Category 5 storm before making landfall in the southern Philippines on Thursday, forcing mass evacuations and flight cancellations as floodwaters reached chest-high in low-lying communities.


15th typhoon to enter Philippine territory in 2021

Rai, the 15th typhoon to enter Philippine territory this year, hit the holiday island of Siargao in the southern province of Surigao del Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 195 km (121 miles) per hour, the Philippine weather bureau said.


Thousands flee for survival

Close to 100,000 people have fled their homes as the second-most powerful typhoon to strike the nation this year dumped heavy rains on southern islands on its way towards the central part of the archipelago.

The nation's disaster agency said it had received reports of power outages and flooding in some areas, but there were no casualties so far.


People seeking emergency shelter

More than 90,000 people sought emergency shelter as the storm charged across the Pacific Ocean, disaster agencies said.


Chest-deep waters

Images shared by the Philippine Coast Guard showed rescuers wading through chest-deep waters in the city of Cagayan de Oro on the northern coast of Mindanao, while ferrying residents in rubber boats.


'Life-threatening flooding'

Scores of flights have been cancelled and dozens of ports temporarily closed as the weather bureau warned several metre-high storm surges could cause "life-threatening flooding" in low-lying coastal areas.


Philippines postpones mass vaccination drive

Rai, locally named "Odette", is hitting the Philippines late in the typhoon season, with most cyclones developing between July and October.

The Southeast Asian nation postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most of the country because of the storm.

Rai is expected to weaken slightly as it moves across the Visayas region, and the Mindanao and Palawan islands, before emerging Saturday over the South China Sea and heading towards Vietnam.

Around 20 tropical storms a year strike the Philippines, a nation of more than 7,600 islands, causing floods and landslides.



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