Philippine Authorities Start Evacuation as Typhoon Rai Approaches, Official Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The approach of Typhoon Rai to the Philippines forced the authorities of the southeastern region of Caraga to start preemptive evacuations in high-risk areas, Vice Governor Nilo Demerey Jr. said on Wednesday.
"Evacuations of residents in flood and landslide-prone areas have started in different towns. We are monitoring these preemptive evacuations now," Demerey told the Philippine News Agency.
According to the news agency, so far, over 98,000 people were evacuated from the Visayas region of the Philippines. The evacuees were reportedly accommodated in 274 evacuation centers in other provinces of the country.
Typhoon Rai, dubbed Odette in the Philippines, is accompanied by a wind that reaches up to 100 miles per hour. Although Rai is not as strong as previous typhoons, the concern is primarily the risk of landslides caused by rainstorms.
Because of Odette and the northeast monsoon, gale warnings remain in effect for southeastern regions of Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Camotes Islands, which are expected to be affected the most.
All flights and traffic of vessels are canceled.
Rescue services have prepared over 22,000 sets of meals in case they are needed by the victims.
Philippine Red Cross is working in the east of the country, preparing rescue vehicles, first aid teams, evacuation equipment and relief supplies.
"Red Cross emergency teams are urgently helping as tens of thousands of families bunker down for the most powerful storm they have faced this year. Volunteers are equipping shelters with blankets, first aid and food supplies. We are doing this to protect the people," Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said.
According to the organization, emergency preparations are made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.