Super Typhoon Rai leaves a path of devastation and uncertainty

The death toll from Super Typhoon Rai that raked southern and central Philippines late last week has risen to 375 with 500 people missing, according to data compiled by the National Police. The count, subject to verification, far outstrips the 156 deaths recorded by the national disaster agency from the storm known locally as Odette.
Rai is one of the most powerful storms to hit the southern Philippines on record. Within 24 hours the typhoon intensified into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of some 100 miles per hour in a band 600 miles across. By the time it exited the Philippines Saturday, the storm had displaced more than 481,000 people, according to the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. Among is Niel Jon Salcedo, a young dentist in Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao. He took a moment to savor a family treasure as flood waters lapped in his home.
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