Typhoon Hagupit lashes the Philippines REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

At least 21 people including a toddler have died since Typhoon Hagupit ravaged the Philippines, according to the Red Cross.

Hagupit, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday (8 December), is now moving closer towards the city of Manila.

The city mayor Joseph Estrada said the city was "prepared and trained for this", but added: "It's the flooding that we are worried about."

The worst hit region has been the eastern island of Samar.

A million people have been evacuated from vulnerable areas since Saturday although residents from provinces like Albay have now been urged to return to their homes.

But Pilar Rangosajo, a grandmother taking refuge in an evacuation centre in the city of Legazpi, said: "I am worried - I am thinking of my children and my grandchildren.They are so young, that's why we're here.

"It's so hard for me because every typhoon damages our home. We don't have the money to fix it."

Pagasa, the Philippines weather agency, warned people should remain vigilant despite the downgrade. With gusts of up to 135kmph, the storm is expected to make its third landfall in Northern Mindoro bringing moderate-to-heavy rainfall within a 450km radius.

"It will be associated with strong winds, storm surge, and moderate-to-heavy rainfall," the agency said in its warning.

The city of Tacloban, which was badly hit from Super Typhoon Haiyan last year, was unaffected by the latest storm. Haiyan left more than 7,000 people dead or missing.