Typhoon Rai Odette 2021

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Super Typhoon Rai (locally named Odette) made landfall on 16 December 2021 in Surigao del Norte Province before crossing central-southern Philippines, 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. 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.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.

In the first 72 hours, the typhoon left 63 cities and municipalities without electricity and 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. Assessments conducted over the weekend identified as priority needs include food, potable water, emergency shelter repair kits and 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 the response activities and on 19 December the Government of the Philippines accepted the offer of the Humanitarian Country Team to provide assistance. 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.

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Coordination Team