Locally named Odette, the storm is one of the strongest recorded on Earth this year and the 6th to reach category 5.
Typhoon Rai crossed into the southern Philippines on December 16, 2021, having intensified to category 5 strength just hours before landfall. Locally named Odette, the storm is one of the strongest recorded on Earth this year and the 6th to reach category 5.
News and weather reports indicated that the storm first came ashore in Siargao, a popular island for tourism, with sustained winds around 195 kilometers (120 miles) per hour, before crossing over several other islands. An estimated 100,000 people evacuated their homes before Rai arrived. An estimated 30 million people live in the central and southern islands of the Philippines.
This natural-color image of Typhoon Rai was acquired in the early afternoon on December 16, 2021, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite. Around the time of this image, the storm had sustained winds of 240 kilometers (150 miles) per hour, a category 4 super typhoon.
The storm is the 15th typhoon to pass through or close to the Philippines this year. The archipelago typically sees more landfalling storms annually than any other place on Earth.
Forecasters from the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicted that the storm would head toward Vietnam and southern China in the coming days.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE, GIBS/Worldview, and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership.