In the Philippines, the supertyphon Rai has killed at least one

As the Philippine weather agency predicted, Rai was the strongest cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, uprooting trees, tearing power lines and inundating villages across the archipelago. The supertyphon has killed at least one, confirmed Friday, December 17, the national agency of natural disasters. Two other people were injured.

More than 300,000 people were evacuated, leaving behind homes and resorts in the south and center of the country. The typhoon interrupted communications in some areas and ripped off the roofs of buildings. Rai was a supertyphon – equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane in the United States – when it made landfall Thursday, on the tourist island of Siargao, with winds of 195 km / h.

By Friday, the wind speed had dropped to 155 km / h, the Philippine Meteorological Agency said. “We see people walking in the streets, many of them are in shock”ABS-CBN TV correspondent Dennis Datu reported from the hard-hit town of Surigao in southern Mindanao Island.

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Floods and torn roofs

A coast guard evacuates a girl in Cagayan de Oro, in the south of the archipelago, on December 16.

According to the correspondent, the main roads leading to the coastal city were blocked by landslides, fallen trees and overturned electricity poles. The National Disaster Agency stressed that it was too early to determine the extent of the damage across the country. They “Were not as important as those which were previously caused by typhoons of the same force”, however, said Casiano Monilla, deputy operations administrator, during a briefing.

“Most of the damage was done to infrastructure and houses”, he said, adding that the mass evacuation of people from their homes before the storm had saved lives. Dozens of flights were canceled across the country on Thursday, and ports, temporarily closed, as the weather agency warned that the typhoon could cause “Potentially fatal floods” in low-lying coastal areas.

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“The devastation is hard to tell”said a resident, 37, a tour operator on the island of Bohol. He was curled up at home with his family when the storm blew off the roof of his house. “It was very strong. The last time I experienced something like this was in the 1980s ”, he said.

A building and gymnasium belonging to the Philippine branch of the Red Cross, located in the central province of Southern Leyte, were badly damaged, with part of the roof ripped off, photos posted by the organization on Twitter show . ” We are scared, explained Ced Golingay, receptionist at a hotel in the town of Iloilo, even when I was sleeping I could feel the wind hitting the house. “

Rai in the direction of Vietnam

Power lines were pulled through the Rai Crossing in Cebu, central Philippines on December 17, 2021.

Rai is a particularly late-season typhoon, with most tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean forming between July and October. The cyclone was heading towards Palawan Island on Friday and is expected to recede over the South China Sea on Saturday towards Vietnam.

Scientists have long warned that typhoons are getting stronger and stronger as global warming accelerates. The Philippines, considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, is hit each year by around 20 typhoons, which often wreak havoc on homes, crops and infrastructure in already very poor regions.

The deadliest cyclone on record in the Philippines is the supertyphon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 dead or missing in 2013.

The World with AFP

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In the Philippines, the supertyphon Rai has killed at least one

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