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Over 45,000 people flee homes as Typhoon Rai hits Philippines

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People preparing to move to safety as Typhoon Rai gathered momentum in the Philippines on Wednesday.

THE PHILIPPINES: Thousands of people in the Philippines have fled their homes and beachfront resorts as a powerful typhoon lashed the archipelago Thursday, with authorities warning of destructive winds and torrential rain.

Typhoon Rai was packing maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometres (102 miles) an hour as it barrelled towards central and southern regions of the vast archipelago, the state weather agency said. More than 45,000 people had sought emergency shelter as the storm charged across the Pacific Ocean, the national disaster agency said.

Scores of flights have been cancelled and dozens of ports temporarily closed as the weather bureau warned several metre-high storm surges could cause “life-threatening flooding” in low-lying coastal areas.

Rai, locally named “Odette”, is hitting the country late in the typhoon season, with most cyclones developing between July and October.

The Philippines — ranked as one of the world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet — is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons every year, which typically wipe out harvests, homes and infrastructure in already impoverished areas. – FRANCE 24

Friday, December 17, 2021 – 01:00

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