Home World Asia News Typhoon Hagupit downgraded to tropical storm

Typhoon Hagupit downgraded to tropical storm

Hagupit has been downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm after crossing the Philippines heading to capital Manila.

At least 21 people were killed by the storm, the Red Cross said, with the eastern island of Samar worst hit, but it caused far less damage than feared.

Thousands of people are heading home after about a million people were evacuated from vulnerable areas.

The city of Tacloban, which bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, has emerged relatively unscathed.

In Manila, residents are preparing for heavy rain and strong winds.

Typhoon Hagupit is still travelling westwards across the Philippines, and has weakened into a tropical storm, according to the Philippine meteorological authorities.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

A government alert on Monday morning stated that residents of the capital and surrounding regions should expect winds of up to 62mph in the next 24 hours, and to prepare for possible flash floods, landslides, and storm surges of up to 6 ft.

Thousands who live along the coast and riverbanks were evacuated on December 8, reports said. A total of 11.8 million people live in the national capital region.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the city was “prepared and trained for this”, but added: “It’s the flooding that we are worried about.”

Financial markets in the Philippines would be closed on Monday, December 8, statements from the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Bankers Association of the Philippines said. Schools were closed, commercial flights were cancelled and civil servants told to stay at home.

Correspondents say Hagupit has been nowhere near as powerful as Typhoon Haiyan – known as Yolanda in the Philippines – which tore through the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing.

In Tacloban, Hagupit blew away roofs and flooded streets, but the area has escaped the wider devastation of last year.

Known locally as Typhoon Ruby, Hagupit has nonetheless caused major damage in several towns on the east coast of the Philippines.

The Philippine Red Cross said at least 21 people had died over the weekend, with 18 of those on the eastern island of Samar, where Hagupit made landfall on December 6 with winds up to 130 mph.

The mayor of Dolores, a town on Samar, said that 80% of homes there had been destroyed. One resident reportedly died after a tree fell on him.

Two more people – a one-year-old girl and a 65-year-old man – died from hypothermia in the central province of Iloilo, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

A total of 183 flights had been cancelled and five airports closed, the agency said, and there were power outages in 16 provinces.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.