The death toll from Typhoon Hagupit increased on Monday as the storm made its way across the Philippines, weakening as it moved toward the capital of Manila.
The typhoon weakened into a tropical storm on Monday after leaving at least dozens people dead and destroying over 1,500 homes. The storm is still expected to bring heavy rains as it passes near Manila tonight, according to USA today.
At least 27 people have been killed in the storm so far, according to Richard Gordon, the head of Philippines Red Cross. At least 16 were killed in the city of Borongan, which sits on the eastern edge of Samar Island close to where the typhoon made landfall, CNN reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Pilar Rangosajo” author_title=”Grandmother in Legazpi evacuation center”]
I am worried — I am thinking of my children and my grandchildren. They are so young, that’s why we’re here. It’s so hard for me because every typhoon damages our home. We don’t have the money to fix it.
Relief workers are already praising the evacuation efforts, which prevented greater casualties by evacuating about 1.2 million people. Last year’s Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 7,300 people.
As Hagupit rolls over the archipelago, officials have started to assess the scale of the damage while emergency response teams work to reach remote areas. Trucks with humanitarian relief are still making their way toward the northern part of the island of Samar, close to where the Hagupit made landfall.
While Hagupit is less powerful than Haiyan, it is moving slower. Weather forecasters say this will cause the storm to dump large amounts of heavy rain on areas in its path, which increases the chance of flash floods and landslides, according to the New York Times.
Damage has so far been minimal, and there have been no deadly storm surges as many feared. Up to two feet of rain has fallen in some regions, however. Flooding concerns are especially great for Manila, the capital with a metropolitan population of nearly 12 million. Many parts of the city are prone to flash floods due to its geography.