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Half A Million Flee To Shelters As Super Typhoon Nears Philippines

Hundreds of residents take shelter Friday inside the provincial capitol of Surigao city close to central Philippines in anticipation of typhoon Hagupit which is expected to hit land Saturday afternoon. About a year the country was lashed by Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead.
Erwin Mascarinas AP
Hundreds of residents take shelter Friday inside the provincial capitol of Surigao city close to central Philippines in anticipation of typhoon Hagupit which is expected to hit land Saturday afternoon. About a year the country was lashed by Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead.

Fishermen carry their outrigger to higher ground Friday in Legazpi City, south of Manila.
Charism Sayat AFP/Getty Images
Fishermen carry their outrigger to higher ground Friday in Legazpi City, south of Manila.

A coastal village of Tanauan township, Leyte province in central Philippines, sits abandoned on Friday after its residents evacuated.
Paul Cinco AP
A coastal village of Tanauan township, Leyte province in central Philippines, sits abandoned on Friday after its residents evacuated.

Meteorologists from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) monitor and plot the direction of super typhoon Hagupit on Thursday at their office in suburban Manila.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images
Meteorologists from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) monitor and plot the direction of super typhoon Hagupit on Thursday at their office in suburban Manila.

A worker uses a forklift early Saturday to load sacks of rice onto trucks, to be delivered before Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall, inside a Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse in Manila.
Romeo Ranoco Reuters/Landov
A worker uses a forklift early Saturday to load sacks of rice onto trucks, to be delivered before Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall, inside a Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse in Manila.

Half a million people have evacuated their homes in the Philippines, The Associated Press reports, as a powerful super typhoon bears down on a region that saw 7,300 deaths and widespread damage from another major storm a bit more than a year ago.

Typhoon Hagupit — the name translates into "smash" in Tagalog — is expected to make landfall Saturday morning or early afternoon in U.S. East Coast time.

Weather.com reports that Hagupit will be the equivalent of a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane, and that its slow movement through the archipelago — it's expected to spend four days over the islands — could drop more than 2 feet of rain in some spots, triggering flash flooding and mudslides. Storm surge could reach nearly 15 feet in some spots, the Philippines government reported.

The country also reported it had 1,240 troops, 476 cargo ships, 130 transport vehicles and 88 disaster response teams positioned for response to the storm, which is being referred to as Ruby in the Philippines.

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the nation in November 2013, demolished about 1 million houses and displaced some 4 million people in the central Philippines, the AP reports. Hundreds of residents still living in tents in Tacloban have been prioritized in the ongoing evacuation.

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