MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged the public to remain “watchful and careful” as typhoon Odette slammed into the Philippines.
Authorities are “closely monitoring” Odette’s movement and “have undertaken all necessary precautions,” including prepositioning resources and coordinating on emergency and relief response, Duterte said.
“Still, we must remain watchful and careful of developments,” the President said during the unveiling of MRT-7 train sets in Quezon City.
“Let us ensure that our people in the areas on the path of the typhoon will be safe and well,” he added.
Odette on Thursday afternoon made landfall in the island of Siargao in Surigao del Norte, before hitting Dinagat Islands and Panaon Island, Southern Leyte.
Close to 100,000 people have fled their homes as the second-most powerful typhoon to strike the nation this year dumped heavy rains on southern islands on its way towards the central part of the Philippines.
The nation's disaster agency said it had received reports of power outages and flooding in some areas, but there were no casualties so far.
Footage shared by the Philippine Coast Guard showed rescuers wading through chest-deep waters in the city of Cagayan de Oro on the northern coast of Mindanao, while ferrying residents in rubber boats.
Airlines cancelled dozens of flights, while transport authorities banned sea and land travel in central and southern Philippines, leaving thousands stranded at ports.
The Philippines postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most of the country because of the storm.
Around 20 tropical storms a year strike the Philippines, a nation of more than 7,600 islands, causing floods and landslides.
— With a report from Reuters
Video courtesy of RTVM