Super typhoon Rai is battering the southern Philippines, forcing thousands of people to take shelter amid warnings of widespread flooding and destruction. The storm made landfall in Siargao, a popular tourist island, packing winds of about 175km/h.
Typhoon Rai, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Odette, is currently a powerful tropical cyclone over the South China Sea which recently passed through the Philippines.
Rai became the first Category 5 super typhoon since Nock-ten to form in the month of December and the third Category 5 super typhoon to form in South China Sea after Pamela of 1954 and Rammasun of 2014.
The Philippines is used to powerful storms – it is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons a year. Super typhoon Goni left a trail of death and destruction in November 2020.
It was the most powerful storm to hit the country since Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.