Super typhoon Rae causes widespread floods in southern Philippines

Super typhoon Rai caused swollen rivers and sever flooding as the storm approached the Philippines this morning.

Footage shows the deluge of muddy fast-flowing water in the town of Salvacion in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, Agusa province on Thursday December 16.

Elsewhere in the region on the island of Mindanao, thousands of locals were being evacuated as the storm brought floodwater from the heavy downpours battering the area. 

The storm, locally known as Bagyong Odette, was recorded 330 kilometres east of Surigao del Norte province at 4 AM local time, state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its early morning bulletin.

PAGASA added that ‘heavy to torrential’ rains were expected over the south-central parts of the Philippines until Friday. Storm signal warning 3, the third-highest in the country’s four-tiered weather alert system, has been hoisted over the Visayas and northern Mindanao islands.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center said Typhoon Rai may become a Category 5 hurricane or super typhoon, possibly reaching speeds of up to 260 kph when it makes landfall.

Thousands of residents in flood and landslide-prone rural areas have been evacuated by local government units as they brace for the powerful typhoon.