CM – Over 45,000 people flee their homes when Typhoon Rai struck the Philippines

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Thousands of people in the Philippines fled their homes and beach resorts when a strong typhoon lashed the archipelago on Thursday. The authorities warned of destructive winds and torrential rains.

Typhoon Rai had a maximum sustained wind speed of 165 kilometers per hour when it sped into the central and southern regions of the vast archipelago, said the state weather agency.

However, she warned that wind speeds could increase to 195 kilometers per hour before the storm hits land near the popular tourist destination of Siargao Island in the afternoon.

More than 45,000 people were looking for shelter when the storm hit Pacific Ocean moved, the national civil protection agency announced.

Among them were local tourists who visited the famous beaches and diving spots in the country before Christmas. Foreign travelers are still prohibited from entering the Philippines due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Numerous flights have been canceled and dozen of ports temporarily closed, as the weather department warned that storm surges several meters high in low-lying coastal areas would become « life-threatening Floods.

Rai, locally known as « Odette », hits the country late in the typhoon season, with most cyclones developing between July and October.

It is expected to hit the Visayas Region and the islands of Mindanao and Palawan before surfacing over the South China Sea on Saturday and heading for Vietnam.

The Philippines – considered one of the world’s most severely affected by the effects of a warming planet – are annually hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons, which typically destroy crops, homes and infrastructure in already impoverished areas.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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