Thousands leave homes as typhoon hits Philippines
Thousands leave homes as typhoon hits Philippines
This picture shows rescue workers evacuating residents from their flooded homes amid heavy rains brought by Super Typhoon Rai in Cagayan de Oro City, on the southern island of Mindanao. — AFP

DAPA: Thousands of people in the Philippines fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Super Typhoon Rai pummelled the country on Thursday, with a charity warning the storm could hit coastal communities “like a freight train”. Rai is the strongest storm to hit the disaster-prone archipelago this year.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres an hour as it made landfall on the southern island of Siargao at 1:30pm, the state weather forecaster said.

“This monster storm is frightening and threatens to hit coastal communities like a freight train,” said Alb­erto Bocanegra, head of the Inter­national Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Philippines.

“We are very concerned that climate change is making typhoons more ferocious and unpredictable.”

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