Rescuers Battle Strong Typhoon Lashing Southern Philippines

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, rescuers assist residents over floodwaters caused by Typhoon Rai as they are evacuated to higher ground in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Tens of thousands of people were being evacuated to safety in the southern and central Philippines as Typhoon Rai approached Thursday at a time when authorities were warning the public to avoid crowds after the first infections caused by the omicron strain of the coronavirus were reported in the country, officials said. (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

(AP) — A powerful typhoon has slammed into the southeastern Philippines and toppled trees, blasted away tin roofs and knocked down power while blowing across island provinces where nearly 100,000 people have been evacuated.

Coast guard personnel have been rescuing residents stranded by chest-deep waters in a southern province, where pounding rains swamped villages in brownish water.

In Cagayan de Oro city, footage shows two rescuers struggling to keep a month-old baby inside a laundry basin above the waters and shielded from the wind and rain with an umbrella.

Forecasters say Typhoon Rai further strengthened with sustained winds of 121 miles per hour and stronger gusts as it blew from the Pacific Ocean into the Siargao Islands. There are no immediate reports of deaths.


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