Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) made its first of nine landfalls on December 16, 2021 in the Central-Southern region of the Philippines causing severe rainfall, flooding, and mudslides. Rapidly intensifying over a 24 hour period, it had maximum sustained winds of 195 KM/hr and was the strongest storm of 2021 to affect the country.
The super typhoon affected 9.9 million people, killed over 400 people, and left 2.4 million in need of assistance across all sectors, primarily with food, shelter, and livelihoods. There was significant damage to infrastructure, schools, community structures, and farms; 1.7 million homes were damaged, 415,000 homes were destroyed, and according to recent reports in some areas 80% of coconut trees were uprooted entirely, whereas they often sway and remain standing in typhoon force winds. In the beginning stages, the response and recovery efforts were delayed due to the spread of COVID-19 and travel limitations within and into the islands.