The Philippines remains braced for further possible devastation from Typhoon Hagupit after the storm left three people dead, knocked out power in entire coastal provinces, mowed down trees and sent more than 900,000 people fleeing for their lives.
The typhoon, which hit land with winds of 87mph and gusts of 106mph, caused shallow floods, damaged shanties and ripped tin roofs off buildings, but there were no confirmed deaths or major destruction reported from the affected areas.
Hagupit was found to be weaker than forecast when it slammed into Eastern Samar and other island provinces, but while its peak power was lower than expected, it has still proved to be a deadly storm.
Two people, including a baby girl, died of hypothermia in central Iloilo province on Saturday at the height of the Typhoon. Another person died after being hit by a falling tree in the eastern town of Dolores, according to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
The typhoon is now moving slowly, which more rainfall in the Central Philippines and a risk of landslides and flash floods, while the strong storm is still on course to barrel across three major central islands before starting to blow away on Tuesday.
Traumatised by the destruction of supertyhpoon Haiyan last year that killed more than 7,000 people and displaced millions, this year the Philippine government launched massive preparations to attain a zero-casualty target.
Over 900,000 people fled to around 1,000 emergency shelters to keep safe from the storm, while army troops have been deployed to supermarkets and major roads in provinces to clear debris and prevent looting and chaos, all of which helped to slow down the government’s response to those effected by last year’s devastating supertyphoon.
Local media reports focused on the positive story of a 23-year-old woman who safely gave birth in an evacuation centre, the Guardian reports. Marilyn Ramonolos had a midwife with her as she went in to labour, who was able to successfully deliver the baby with guidance over the phone from a doctor in Manila.
This storm looks amazingly dangerous- praying for the people of the Philipines pic.twitter.com/qri4b9ZdJe— Terry W. Virts (@AstroTerry) December 6, 2014
While the government has learned from last year and taken major steps to ensure people’s safety under Hagupit, Greenpeace campaigners claim the typhoons are a result of climate change, and that the Philippines should not have to “accept” this destruction will happen regularly.
“The people of the Philippines cannot just accept this is going to be the new normal in our lives,” Anna Abad, Greenpeace’s climate justice campaigner for the Philippines, told The Independent.
Greenpeace has launched a campaign to make “Big Polluters Pay”. The campaign claims that “Communities like those affected by Haiyan are footing the bill for their destruction while Big Polluters continue to rake in billions of profits by selling their climate-killing coal, oil and gas”.
Greenpeace is calling for people to “stand with the Philippines” as it prepares to confront negotiators gathered at the Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru, which is currently discussing a global agreement on climate change.
“These typhoons are getting stronger and affecting more people,” Ms Abad said, “while those responsible for climate change – the coal, oil and gas companies – continue to contribute to the climate crisis.”
In Pictures: Typhoon Hagupit
In Pictures: Typhoon Hagupit
1/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Filipino fishermen carry water supplies after securing fishing boats qas they make their way to an evacuation center at a fishing village in Cavite, south of Manila. Typhoon Hagupit weakened as it moved towards the Philippine capital after killing at least ten people and displacing more than 1 million people in the eastern and central provinces. Hagupit slammed into the country's eastern coast, bringing heavy rains and gale-force winds that flattened homes, ripped off roofs, and knocked out power and communications
2/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Destroyed houses and trees with a slogan calling for help are seen along a road in the village of Mantang
3/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Children play on top of a fallen coconut tree blocking a highway in San Julian town
4/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Children play atop sacks of donated clothes at an evacuation centre for the coastal community to take shelter from Typhoon Hagupit
5/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Military personnel along with public works employees clear a fallen tree blocking a section of national highway in Taft town
6/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A typhoon victim stands near clothes hung out for drying in Dolores, Samar
7/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A general view of damaged houses swept by Typhoon Hagupit in Eastern Samar
8/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A man pushes his motorcycle along floodwaters bought by Typhoon Hagupit in Camarines Sur province
9/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A man searches for recyclable plastic items along the coast, after strong winds and heavy rain brought by typhoon Hagupit battered Atimonan town, Quezon province, south of Manila
10/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A Filipino man negotiates a flooded rice field in Albay province
11/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Strong winds and rain pound the seawall hours before Typhoon Hagupit passes near the city of Legazpi
12/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Strong waves crash into coastal houses as Typhoon Hagupit pounds Legazpi, Albay province
13/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Filipino typhoon victim children beg for help in the town of San Julian, Samar island
14/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A Filipino typhoon victim is seen inside a damaged house in the town of Taft, Samar island
15/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Children play on a boat in a shanty town at the port area in Manila on December 7, 2014 ahead of the arrival of typhoon Hagupit
16/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A mother watches her baby inside a mosquito net at an evacuation centre in Manila
17/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Volunteers repack relief goods for victims of Typhoon Hagupit at the Department of Social Welfare and Development
18/20 Typhoon Hagupit
A Filipino family prepare food while waiting for evacuation at a coastal area in Paranaque city, south of Manila
19/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Filipino children sleep as families seek refuge at a school used as an evacuation center as they prepare for Typhoon Hagupit in Legazpi, Albay province
20/20 Typhoon Hagupit
Residents flee to Marabot
While the Philippines have learned to “adapt” to the effects of climate change, the coal, oil and gas companies need to “provide these countries with a low carbon pathway,” she added.
Greenpeace campaigners are planning on traveling to the areas affected by Hagupit as soon as it is safe to do so and “send a message of devastation” to the Conference of Parties and “tell them the people of the Philippines should not experience this,” Ms Abad said.
Additional reporting by APReuse content