In The Philippines, More Than 1 Million Flee Typhoon Hagupit

December 7, 2014

More than 1 million people have fled to shelters before the power of Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines on Sunday.

The raging winds toppled trees, tore away roofs and knocked out power in a region hit by a killer storm just over a year ago.

This storm, which weakened from a category 5 super typhoon to a category 2 overnight, appears to be far less devastating than Typhoon Haiyan from November 2013 — but still terrifying to the island nation’s residents.

United Nations experts said it was one of the world’s largest peacetime evacuations, the Mirror reports.

Some homes damaged by Hagupit had only been recently rebuilt after Haiyan, which is believed to be the strongest cyclone ever to make landfall.

Sustained winds dropped to 87 mph, with gusts up to 105 mph, NBC News said, down from 130 mph gusts as the storm made landfall on Saturday in Eastern Samar, the region where Haiyan killed thousands last year.

The AP reports:

Rhea Estuna, a 29-year-old mother of one, fled Thursday to an evacuation center in Tacloban — the city hardest-hit by Haiyan last year — and waited in fear as Hagupit’s wind and rain lashed the school where she and her family sought refuge. When she peered outside Sunday, she said she saw a starkly different aftermath than the one she witnessed last year after Haiyan struck.

“There were no bodies scattered on the road, no big mounds of debris,” Estuna told The Associated Press by cellphone. “Thanks to God this typhoon wasn’t as violent.”

The massive storm is due to make a third landfall before dawn Monday local time, the Philippine weather service PAGASA told the media.

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