Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) has weakened into a tropical storm as it continues to slowly move towards Batangas province, south of Manila, with moderate to heavy rain.
An estimated 1 million people are in 687 evacuation centres according to Government reports.
Government team conducts initial assessment in the first landfall area (Dolores, Eastern Samar); the priorities are to ensure access to food and water, and to clear the debris.
Communication remains a challenge and the full extent of damage in northeastern areas of Northern Samar province and southern Masbate province is unclear.
Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) weakened into a tropical storm as it continues to slowly move west northwest towards Batangas province, south of Manila, at 13 km/h according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). As of 5:00 p.m. (Manila time), Hagupit was located 15 km southeast of Laiya, Batangas with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h, gusts of up to 100 km/h and rainfall from 5 to 15 mm per hour (moderate to heavy).
Public storm signals 1 and 2 remain in effect in regions III (Central Luzon), IV-A (CALABARZON), IV-B (MIMAROPA) and Metro Manila while the alert have been lifted elsewhere. If it continues under the current projected track, Hagupit will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility in the evening of 10 December.
As of 8 December, an estimated 227,000 families (1 million people) are in 687 evacuation centres across seven affected regions and Metro Manila, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Two deaths (a girl and an elderly man) were reported in Iloilo province.
Power is out in 17 provinces across the Visayas and Luzon due to the typhoon. Communication remains a challenge, limiting information from municipalities in the northeastern areas of Northern Samar province. Some municipalities have reported continued flooding making it difficult for people to receive assistance. Access to island barangays (smallest administrative unit in the Philippines) is constrained due to rough seas.
On 7 December, a Government assessment team conducted initial assessment in the first landfall area in Dolores municipality, a town of 44,000 people, in Eastern Samar province. A number of casualties have been reported and are currently being validated. Additional assessments are ongoing in accessible areas.
Damage to Dolores was mainly due to strong winds. According to the Government, the priority is to ensure the town’s access to food, water and clear debris. The road between Borongan City (Eastern Samar) and Dolores is passable.
In the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc and surrounding municipalities in Leyte province, there is minimal damage to infrastructure. Roads are passable and people who were pre-emptively evacuated are beginning to return home.
To date, no casualties have been reported in these areas. Damage to agriculture and livelihood due to flooding, however, is a concern for people still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan.
In Masbate province, where the typhoon made its second landfall, communications is down in the southern areas of the island and access remains difficult. On Ticao Island (Masbate), NGO partners report that food is needed in the evacuation centres.
As of 8 December, following key airports are operational according to NDRRMC: Calbayog (Eastern Samar), Catarman (Northern Samar), Roxas City (Capiz province), Marinduque (Marinduque), Masbate City (Masbate) and Tacloban City. The Tacloban Airport is open for military and general aviation flights for relief operations until 14 December. As of 6 p.m., the airport in Borongan remains closed.
In addition to Albay province, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes provinces in Region V have declared a state of calamity on 6 December.
In consideration of the potential effects of Hagupit as it moves towards southern Luzon, government offices in regions IV-A, IV-B and Metro Manila were closed on 8 December. Classes were also closed in these regions as well as in regions III, V (Bicol), VI (Western Visayas) and VII (Central Visayas).
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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