Typhoon Hagupit has been reduced to a tropic storms as it makes its way towards the Philippines capital city of Manila.
Hagupit (Ruby), made its first landfall at 9:15 p.m. Saturday night local time (the Philippines are 13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time) near Dolores in eastern Samar, according to PAGASA, the Philippine national weather agency.
According to Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, strong winds and heavy flooding lead to the death of 27 people, most of them in Borongan, Eastern Samar.
He said around 2,500 houses were totally or partially destroyed in Borongan, a town of 64,000 people.
Hagupit swept in from the Pacific as a Category 3 typhoon on Saturday night and is now making its way up and into the central Phillipines.
However, while Hagupit has brought some devastation to the region, it is nothing compared to Haiyan, which last year killed thousands of people in the same areas of the central Philippines.
Learning lessons from Haiyan, which left more than 7,000 dead or missing, the authorities had launched a massive evacuation operation ahead of the storm, emptying whole towns and villages in coastal and landslide prone areas.
“We saw that with preparation and being alert we prevented tragedy and harm, we took our countrymen away from harm,” Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas told a televised government disaster meeting in Samar. “It is sad to hear news of deaths, but this is very low, way below what the potential was.”
Proceso Alcala, the farm minister, said initial reports put crop and farm infrastructure damage at 1 billion pesos ($22 million). Rice crops were most affected, with little damage to corn.
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/ Dec 8, 2014