Philippines: Consolidated Rapid Assessment Report - Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) (20 December 2021)


Impact Overview

Super Typhoon Rai (locally named Odette) made landfall on 16 December 2021 in Surigao del Norte Province before crossing central-southern Philippines, specifically the Visayas and Mindanao Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 195km/h and gustiness of 260km/h.
Intensifying from a tropical storm to a super typhoon within hours, Rai brought torrential rains, violent winds, landslides and storm surges, making nine landfalls in seven provinces. Initial data suggested that Caraga and Regions VI, VII, VIII and IV-B (MIMAROPA) were hit hardest, with communities in Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Island, Southern Leyte, Bohol and Cebu most severely affected.

According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) data released on 20 December, over 1.8 million people (452,307 families) were affected in 3,286 barangays across Regions V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, MIMAROPA, and Caraga. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 631,402 people remained displaced, most of them in evacuation centres.

In the first 72 hours, the typhoon left 63 cities and municipalities without electricity, as of 19 December only 9% of which has been restored. Authorities closed and restricted operations at 73 seaports. Initial reports indicated that some 20,102 houses were destroyed and 34,681 houses damaged, though this number is expected to significantly increase. Debris clearance, restoring power and communication remain of immediate importance.

Priority needs include food, potable water, temporary shelter, fuel, hygiene kits, medical supplies as well as protection services. Affected people expressed the preference of cash assistance to access local markets where they had been restored.

Regional and local authorities are leading response activities. Assessments largely confirmed that additional capacity would be required to attend to growing humanitarian needs. On 19 December, the Government of the Philippines accepted the offer of the Humanitarian Country Team to provide assistance, which needs to be coordinated. Humanitarian partners started supporting local authorities through line ministries, with immediate relief and logistics support. Any mobilization of humanitarian partners was hampered by prevailing COVID-19 related precautionary measures and travel restrictions.

As of 19 December, a new weather system was forming over the Pacific, likely to bring more rains to eastern Visayas and Bicol regions over 24 and 25 December. Scaling up humanitarian support was urgent not least to avoid any further hazardous weather exposure and harm to already affected communities.