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Typhoon Leaves 19 Dead, Many Homes Roofless in Philippines

This photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, shows damaged houses caused by Typhoon Rai at a coastal village in Surigao del Norte province, southern Philippines on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. A strong typhoon engulfed villages in floods that trapped residents on roofs, toppled trees and knocked out power in southern and central island provinces, where more than 300,000 villagers had fled to safety before the onslaught, officials said. (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)
This photo provided by the Philippine Coast Guard, shows damaged houses caused by Typhoon Rai at a coastal village in Surigao del Norte province, southern Philippines on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. A strong typhoon engulfed villages in floods that trapped residents on roofs, toppled trees and knocked out power in southern and central island provinces, where more than 300,000 villagers had fled to safety before the onslaught, officials said. (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)
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Manila, Philippines (AP) -- A powerful typhoon left at least 19 people dead, knocked down power and communications in entire provinces and wrought widespread destruction mostly in the central Philippines, officials said Saturday. A governor said her island has been “leveled to the ground."

Typhoon Rai blew away Friday night into the South China Sea after rampaging through southern and central island provinces, where more than 300,000 people in its path were evacuated to safety in advance in a pre-emptive move officials say may have saved a lot of lives.