Thursday, December 16, 2021

Thousands of Filipinos evacuate as Typhoon Rai intensifies | Al Jazeera

Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes in central and southern Philippines as a powerful typhoon quickly gathers strength ahead of its expected landfall.

The latest report from the Philippine weather bureau, PAGASA, on Thursday morning said that Typhoon Rai is undergoing “rapid intensification” as it barrels towards the island province of Dinagat in the mid-eastern section of the country.

As of 0200 GMT, PAGASA said wind speed has accelerated to 185km (115 miles) per hour near the centre with gustiness of up to 230km (143 miles) per hour, moving west-northwest.

It warned of “very destructive typhoon-force winds” in some parts of the country within the next 12 hours. Rough seas and storm surges in coastal sections, as well as flooding and landslides in mountainous areas along the typhoon’s path are also expected.

Sailors have also been advised by PAGASA to remain in port or take shelter as sea conditions “are risky for all types of sea vessels”.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the US Navy has declared Rai as a super typhoon.

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