MANILA: DEC. 20 – At least 208 people were killed and hundreds of thousands more displaced after the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year wreaked havoc across the archipelago, causing widespread damage and flooding.
Super Typhoon Rai, known locally as Odette, made landfall Thursday on Siargao Island, a popular tourist and surfing destination on the central east coast. It had initially packed winds of up to 260 kilometers (160 miles) per hour — equivalent to a Category 5 storm.
Rai devastated communities, ripping through homes, breaking down trees and electricity poles as it traveled west across the Philippines.
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