The typhoon made landfall in the Dolores municipality, eastern Philippines on 5 December and while over 700,000 people have been evacuated from Hagupit’s path so far, there have been no confirmed casualties as yet according to the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development. Wind speeds were reported at up to 108 mph – with sudden gusts reaching 130 mph – and initial reports have indicated less damage than expected, according to the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA). The storm has weakened as it moves to the northwest, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Hagupit is projected to be back over the sea in the next 24 hours.
Total damage to crops and infrastructure are so far estimated by the Department of Agriculture to have reached the equivalent of £17million, with over 55,000 hectares of farmland damaged. To deal with this, the DoA has requisitioned 78,479 bags of rice and 17,554 bags of corn.
Three airports in the country have been shut down, while Cebu airport has been designated as a site to marshal international aid. Eleven countries, including the UK, have so far offered to send support to the Philippines.
‘We are standing by and are fully prepared to assist the government in the response, should they require it,’ said Mr Terence Jones, the acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for OCHA in the Philippines. ‘We have experienced people in-country who responded to Typhoon Haiyan and who are available and prepared for the response,’ he added.