Super Typhoon Rai, named “Odette” in the Philippines, ripped through the archipelago’s eastern island of Siargao, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. Flights have been cancelled as well as land and sea trips in the area.
More than 45,000 people have been evacuated to government shelters in Eastern Visayas, which includes six provinces, as the 15th storm of the year rapidly developed into a super typhoon which is equal to a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, with Surigao Province in the north predicted to see the worst circumstances.
Governor Ben Evardone of Samar province said heavy wind and rain have already battered the area. Hundreds of people have taken refuge in evacuation centres in Tacloban City, just outside of Samar.
Many of them suffered through Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, which killed over 6,000 Filipinos.
Photos from Surigao show a sports complex converted into an evacuation centre, complete with plastic tents put up in a vast hall and people sleeping on carpets and tarps on the floor where more than 2,600 people have evacuated.
Smaller coastal communities are the most significant source of concern since they are home to fishers and impoverished people who may not have access to official announcements or be unable to leave, with the ongoing evacuation in Dapa by humanitarian groups and organisations.
According to the country’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau, thousands of communities along the storm’s forecast course are in danger of floods and landslides, with the region’s soil already saturated and shaky from the week’s torrential rain.
According to the Red Cross, millions of people are still rebuilding their homes and livelihoods, especially following multiple severe storms late last year.
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