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Typhoon Rai nears Philippines, thousands evacuated; torrential rain warning issued | 10 points

 Published on Dec 16, 2021 08:10 AM IST

Byhindustantimes.com| Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

What makes the condition favourable for typhoons like Rai to form are very warm ocean waters and low wind shear. These conditions help strengthen a storm to a potentially catastrophic, high-end typhoon.

A strong typhoon is heading towards the Philippines and is expected to make landfall on Thursday afternoon. Typhoon Rai has the ferocity to become a super typhoon, according to weather experts.

It has already been upgraded to a category 4 storm, the second-highest classification. The typhoon has wind speeds of 165 km per hour, with gusts of up to 205 km per hour, the Philippines' weather bureau said.

The storm is on track to slam the southern and central portions of the Philippines.

Here are the key things to know about the typhoon and the ongoing rescue efforts:

• This will be the 15th typhoon to hit the country this year. It is also one of the strongest storms so far.

• The authorities have warned of storm surges, flooding and landslides in coastal and mountainous areas in the typhoon's path.

• The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) – which monitors typhoons locally – has warned of “heavy to intense and at times torrential” rain in most parts of the Philippines from Thursday to Friday.

• Nearly 30,000 residents in Eastern Samar province, one of the hardest hit by super typhoon Haiyan in 2013, have been evacuated from their homes in the past two days.

• "We are getting pounded already by strong wind and rain," Governor Ben Evardone of the Eastern Samar province told DZMM radio station.

• The southern province of Surigao del Sur has already started to feel the force of the storm.

• Several airlines have cancelled dozens of flights, while transport authorities banned sea and land travel in the central and southern Philippines, leaving thousands stranded at ports.

• The Philippines has postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most parts of the country because of the storm.

• The Southeast Asian nation, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, sees around 20 tropical storms annually, causing floods and landslides.

• What makes the condition favourable for typhoons like Rai to form are very warm ocean waters and low wind shear. These conditions help strengthen a storm to a potentially catastrophic, high-end typhoon.

(Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/typhoon-rai-nears-philippines-thousands-evacuated-storm-surge-expected-101639621713895.html)