Updated Dec 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Super typhoon kills at least 3 people in Philippines

Residents walk past their destroyed homes in Hernani town, Eastern Samar province on December 17
Residents walk past their destroyed homes in Hernani town, Eastern Samar province, on Thursday, after Super Typhoon Rai pummeled the southern and central regions of the Philippines. Photo by Alren Beronio/AFP via Getty Images

Super Typhoon Rai has killed at least three people after lashing the central and southern Philippines, officials said Friday, per AP.

Threat level: The storm that's equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane is the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines this year — causing over 300,000 people to evacuate coastal areas as it triggered flooding, communications and power outages and uprooted trees Thursday, AFP notes.

  • Officials said the outages were hindering rescue efforts and fallen trees and debris were blocking roads, according to AP.

The big picture: Rai was packing maximum sustained winds of 121 mph with gusts of 150 mph as it lashed coastal communities before slightly weakening after making landfall in Surigao del Norte province's Siargao Island.

  • It still had sustained winds of 96 mph with gusts of up to 133 mph as it headed toward the western Palawan province before heading into the South China Sea, AP reports.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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