Asia Pacific
Philippine gov't says verifying 21 deaths due to typhoon Hagupit
Last Updated: 2014-12-08 19:08 | Xinhua
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The Philippine state disaster management agency said on Monday that it was verifying an earlier Red Cross reports that 21 people died due to typhoon Hagupit ( local name Ruby).

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), told a press briefing that the death toll was not confirmed.

Pama said the official number of fatalities from Hagupit still stood at two as of 4 p.m. local time (0800 GMT). He said the agency was trying to validate more reports in coordination with the Department of Health.

"We are still working on the official figures as of now. As I said, unless we sign it and validate it, we cannot announce it," he said.

Pama added that Hagupit has changed its track. It was forecast to make a landfall in northern Mindoro, but according to the weather bureau PAGASA, the typhoon, which is moving slowly northwest, is instead expected to land on San Juan, Batangas, on Monday evening.

He said the development will not change the anticipated effects on the capital of Manila, including intense to heavy rains.

Earlier in the day, Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said at least 21 people were killed in central Philippines due to the typhoon. Sixteen fatalities came from Borongan, Eastern Samar province; one each in provinces of Northern Samar and Samar; and three in Iloilo province.

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