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Thousands evacuated as powerful typhoon Rai hits Philippines: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Reuters

Rai, the 15th typhoon to enter Philippine territory this year, hit the holiday island of Siargao in the southern province of Surigao del Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 195 km (121 miles) per hour, the Philippine weather bureau said.

Close to 100,000 people have fled their homes as the second-most powerful typhoon to strike the nation this year dumped heavy rains on southern islands on its way towards the central part of the archipelago.

Power and communication lines are currently down on parts of Siargao, and the UN says 13 million people could be affected by the typhoon.

Flights were cancelled and ports closed because of possible storm surges.

The Southeast Asian nation postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most of the country because of the storm.

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