Thousands Evacuate as Powerful Typhoon Rai Hits Philippines

Typhoon Rai, known locally as “Odette”, made landfall at Siargao, an eastern island of the Philippines, on Thursday afternoon, December 16, with tens of thousands of people evacuating their homes as the storm tracked westwards.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Rai was intensifying, and packing maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h (121 mph) near its center, with gusts of up to 240 km/h.

Pagasa said flooding and rain-induced landslides were expected.

Video posted on Thursday shows trees blowing in the strong winds in San Julian, Eastern Samar. Credit: @miss_aymaeee via Storyful

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