MANILA — Typhoon Rai slammed into the southeastern part of the Philippines on Thursday, bringing heavy rains and flooding that displaced thousands over a large area.
The typhoon, the 15th major weather disturbance to hit the country this year, intensified rapidly in the morning and was classified as a super typhoon, with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour near the center and gusts of up to 168 miles per hour. The designation is similar to a Category 5 hurricane in the United States.
The Coast Guard said the situation in the south was dire, with rescuers reporting taking a baby to safety using a plastic basin. They also used rubber boats to ferry people to safety, as the waters quickly rose in Cagayan de Oro, a city of 730,000 on Mindanao Island that is bisected by a major river system.
The Office of Civil Defense in Manila said that nearly 100,000 people in several regions had been moved to safer ground. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but communications were disrupted in many areas, making it hard to immediately assess the situation.
Haiyan in 2013, which left more than 6,500 people dead or missing.
Gov. Arthur Yap of Bohol Province said officials had also pre-emptively evacuated residents from low-lying areas that were usually flooded during typhoons.