Aerial photos of remote villages on the island of Samar show the power of Typhoon Hagupit which slammed into parts of the Philippines on 9 December, 2014.

Nearly 13,000 houses were crushed and more than 22,300 damaged on the island, where Typhoon Hagupit made landfall. Roofs were ripped from houses, wooden huts were reduced to matchwood, and coconut palms were torn up by the roots.

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An aerial view of fallen trees and damaged houses in a remote village in Dolores, eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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An aerial view of coconut palm trees felled by the typhoon near a remote village in Dolores, Eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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An aerial view of typhoon-damaged houses in a village in Dolores, Eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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An aerial view of a coastal village on an island hardest hit by a typhoon where thousands of homes have been wrecked by powerful winds and a storm surge rising three to four metresErik de Castro/Reuters

Emergency workers are struggling to reach coastal villages on the island hit by powerful winds and a storm surge rising three to four metres (10 to 13 feet).

Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon told Reuters that the agency received reports that 35 people died, but it can only confirm 22 deaths. The official government death toll has risen to eight. Most of the victims, on Samar island, were washed away in floods and some hit by fallen trees.

"Access is very difficult. There are landslides, some are one-lane roads. In the inner barangays (villages), many of the roads have been washed out by flash floods," Gordon said. "It's a long trek (to the villages), it's like Yolanda all over again," he said, referring to super typhoon Haiyan, which hit the same area of the Philippines in 2013.

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Typhoon victims wave at a military helicopter delivering relief goods, on a beach in Dolores, Eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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Traffic drives under a fallen electric pylon along the national highway in San Julian town, Eastern Samar provinceTed Aljibe/AFP
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A man stands on a makeshift shelter in a tree in San Julian, eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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A clock that stopped at a little past 2:00 in the morning, during the onslaught of Typhoon Hagupit, lies in the ruins of a house in San JulianErik de Castro/Reuters
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Children stand on the ruins of their house, which was destroyed during the onslaught of Typhoon Hagupit in San Julian, eastern SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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Typhoon victims recover a television from the ruins of a house destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit in San JulianErik de Castro/Reuters
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A man walks past his typhoon-damaged house with clothes being hung up to dry on the rafters, in San Julian town, Eastern Samar provinceTed Aljibe/AFP

But the damage was nowhere near that wrought by Haiyan, which destroyed or damaged more than a million homes. However, farm damage from Hagupit, mostly to rice crops, has been estimated at 1.3 billion pesos (£18.6 million).

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A farmer tries to salvage some of his damaged crop after Typhoon Hagupit battered San Juan town, Batangas province, south of Manila,Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Learning lessons from Haiyan, which left more than 7,000 dead or missing, authorities launched a massive evacuation effort days ahead of the storm, emptying whole towns and villages. More than two million people felt the impact of Hagupit, which is Filipino for "lash", with nearly 1.7 million in evacuation centres.

Refugees have started returning to their homes as the weather bureau lifted all storm alerts in the country. Hagupit since been downgraded to a tropical depression and is headed west towards Vietnam.