Typhoon Hagupit killed 27 people on the island of Samar in the Philippines, flattening homes, toppling trees and cutting power and communications.

Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said: "We now have a total of 27 dead, most of them in Borongan, Eastern Samar." Most of the dead drowned in floodwaters. He said around 2,500 houses were totally or partially destroyed in Borongan, a town of 64,000 people.

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Children sit outside a house destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit in Can-avid, Samar, in central PhilippinesErik de Castro/Reuters
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A man carries a tank of gas past a house destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit in Borongan city, SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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Boys recover school books from a house inundated by mud brought by Typhoon Hagupit in Borongan city, Samar, in the PhilippinesErik de Castro/Reuters
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Children play in the remains of a house destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit in Dolores, SamarErik de Castro/Reuters
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Children display a placard asking for food from motorists by the side of a road in Dolores, SamarErik de Castro/Reuters

Despite the rising death toll, there was relief that Hagupit had not brought destruction on the scale of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which last year killed thousands of people in the same areas of the Philippines.

Hagupit roared in from the Pacific as a Category 3 typhoon on Saturday night (6 December), churning across Samar island and on to the smaller island of Masbate.

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Houses damaged by Typhoon Hagupit are seen in eastern SamarReuters
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A man walks on a street while strong winds and heavy rain, brought by Typhoon Hagupit, batter Atimonan town, Quezon province, south of ManilaRomeo Ranoco/Reuters
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People walk past high waves pounding the seawall in LegazpiTed Aljibe/AFP
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A woman carries her baby near clothes hung out for drying in Dolores, Samar, in central PhilippinesErik de Castro/Reuters
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Children play on a boat in a shanty town at the port area in Manila ahead of the arrival of Typhoon HagupitNoel Celis/AFP

The typhoon weakened to a tropical storm as it churned close to the Philippine capital, home to 12 million people.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said more than 5,000 residents of a shantytown on the edge of Manila Bay have been evacuated due to possible storm surges.

Learning lessons from Haiyan, which left more than 7,000 dead or missing, the authorities had launched a massive evacuation operation ahead of the storm, emptying whole towns and villages in coastal and landslide-prone areas.

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Children look out of a window at an evacuation centre near ManilaCheryl Gagalac/Reuters
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Evacuees rest at the Government Elementary School in ManilaJay Directo/AFP
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A child looks at his mobile phone as he shelters inside a convent in LegazpiTed Aljibe/AFP
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Volunteers pack relief goods for victims of Typhoon Hagupit at the Department of Social Welfare and Development in ManilaJay Directo/AFP

The strongest typhoon on record to hit land, Haiyan's tsunami-like storm surges levelled entire villages and left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in November last year.