SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The death toll from Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines has increased to 27, an official says.
“We now have a total of 27 dead, most of them in [the city of] Borongan, Eastern Samar [province],” said Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross on Monday, noting that most of the dead drowned in floodwaters.
Some 2,500 houses were totally or partially destroyed in Borongan, he added.
The death toll was announced as the Philippine weather bureau downgraded Hagupit from a Category 5 storm to a Category 2.
After making three landfalls over the weekend, the storm passed over the northwestern part of the Philippines on Monday.
Schools and financial markets in the capital city Manila were closed and people near waterways were moved to emergency shelters.
The storm is currently packing winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour.
According to latest reports, roads are being cleared of fallen trees and landslides while power and communication services are being restored in storm-hit areas across the Southeast Asian country’s central islands.
In November 2013, Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded on land, left more than 7,350 people dead or missing in the central Philippines.
Statistics suggest that the Philippines is struck by more than 20 typhoons each year, with most of the storms hitting the country’s north along the main island of Luzon.