Across Malaysia, a weekend of torrential rain displaced more than 61,000 people, destroyed homes and shuttered roads. The downpour from 17 to 18 December amounted to a month’s average rainfall and have left thousands stranded still waiting to be rescued.
Meanwhile, our South-East Asian neighbours are also suffering from weather disruptions.
According to The Guardian, the death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year has surged to 375 as desperate survivors plead for urgent supplies of drinking water and food.
The Philippine Red Cross reported “complete carnage” in coastal areas after Super Typhoon Rai left homes, hospitals and schools “ripped to shreds”.
The storm tore off roofs, uprooted trees, toppled concrete power poles, smashed wooden houses to pieces, wiped out crops and flooded villages – sparking comparisons to the damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Rai reached category 5 super typhoon strength twice.
The first followed rapid intensification between 15 and 16 December, where maximum wind speeds increased from 75mph to 160mph. The second was across the South China Sea, becoming only the third storm on record to reach Category 5 strength across this region.
A senior official at the Philippines’ national disaster agency said he had not expected as many deaths.
“I was proven wrong as it appears now coming from the reports,” said Casiano Monilla, deputy administrator for operations.
Apparently, scientists have long warned that typhoons are becoming more powerful and strengthening more rapidly as the world becomes warmer because of human-driven climate change.
Kesan yang dahsyat akibat Typhoon Rai.
208 orang meninggal setakat 20 Dec dan 300,000 orang hilang tempat tinggal mereka.
Our thoughts are with you,people of Philippines. pic.twitter.com/qYjq3guftT
— Kiridaren Jayakumar (@Kiridaren) December 21, 2021
Since Malaysia has been hit hard by the flood, Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has had to confirm that Super Typhoon Rai will not affect Malaysia as claimed in viral messages on social media.