Philippines: Typhoon Rai/Odette - Flash Update No. 1 (as of 15 December 2021, 8 p.m. local time)


Situation Overview

On 15 December, Typhoon Rai (locally named Odette) further intensified and became of typhoon strength while it continued to move west northwestward. According to the Philippines weather bureau, PAGASA, Typhoon Rai continues to gain strength, currently packing maximum winds of 130 km/h and gustiness of up to 160 km/h and is expected to make landfall in the vicinity of Surigao Provinces or southern portion of Eastern Visayas late on Thursday,16 December with high winds up to 155 km/h.

The typhoon is forecasted to make landfall in vicinity of CARAGA or Eastern Visayas, then move slightly north westward and cross several provinces in Central and Western Visayas regions before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday. Typhoon Rai’s sustained winds may reach its peak intensity of 155 km/h before landfall, while it is expected to weaken as it crosses land but will still be within typhoon category. Areas along the typhoon’s track will experience torrential to intense rains and strong gale winds with is a high risk of wind damage, raininduced landslides, flash floods and flooding, particularly in areas that experienced significant antecedent rainfall earlier in December. Coastal inundation due to high waves near the coast and storm surge are also possible for low-lying areas near and along the path of the typhoon.

CARAGA, Region 8, Region 7, Region 6 and Region 4B are most at risk to be affected by the typhoon. Close to 16 million people live in these regions, 3.8 million of which are below the poverty line according to pre-disaster data, and could be affected by the typhoon within the 100km radius from projected track.

Government response preparations

The Government is leading preparations for response activities. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) convened its members as early as 10 December and have since activated national and regional emergency operations centres and response clusters. Local authorities in the identified most affected areas have been directed to implement pre-emptive and mandatory evacuations, while respecting COVID-19 health protocols, pre-position food stockpiles, and alert search and rescue teams as part of the general and minimum preparatory actions under government protocols. The Department of Health has postponed national vaccination campaigns in areas on the track of a typhoon. Many municipalities also suspended work and classes for the next few days.

With Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 and 2 hoisted on 15 December, ports in large parts of Visayas, Luzon and Northern Mindanao have been effectively closed and maritime travel suspended. To minimize movement and prevent build-up of vehicles in ports and terminals, land travel has been suspended as early as 13 December in some regions in Eastern Visayas.


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