As Typhoon Rai ravaged the Philippines, more than 300,000. It was the archipelago’s 15th and strongest major storm this year.
This tropical storm was named Rai in international languages but Odette localy. It formed over the Philippines last week. That’s later than other typhoons that typically form between July and October. The storm intensified fast on Thursday. It was classified as super-typhoon (category 5 storm), the strongest level.
In the worst affected regions, “The monster storm” caused “utter destruction,” journalist David Santos tweeted, sharing images of the aftermath.
Winds reaching speeds up to 195kph (121mph), the storm ripped through roofs and uprooted trees. It caused extensive destruction and left houses as well as large areas of rice fields underwater.
According to AFP, at least 23 were reported as having been killed on Saturday. The majority of deaths were caused by drowning or falling trees. Officials stated that the death toll is preliminary. They expect it to rise as provincial authorities provide more details.
Typhoon currently decimates Cebu #OdettePH. My fear is beyond words. Although this is only inside, you can already feel the wrath. Cebu is the home to millions of Filipinos. Pray for the Philippines. We have to trust God in this difficult time. Only miracles can save. pic.twitter.com/Z3DBHGrPOh
— Daddy Z (@ZPalmarez) December 16, 2021
It ravaged central and southern regions of the country. The storm also hit popular tourist spots like Cebu and Siargao. Over 300,000. people fled their beaches and homes. A number of flights were cancelled, leaving around 4,000 people without a home.
A local official in the Dinagat Islands said “Everything was lost,” including evacuation centers, and residents have nowhere to seek refuge. President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would visit the hardest-hit areas on Saturday, saying he doesn’t worry so much about damage to structures, but “fears if many people died.”
According to forecasters, Rai will head toward Vietnam after leaving the Philippines this Saturday.