Thousands evacuate as Typhoon Hagupit lashes Philippines

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Story highlights

NEW: Threat of flooding rises as the typhoon moves slowly across country

Mayor of Tacloban says 48,000 people moved to shelters

About 40 million people are in the path

Storm should be weaker by the time it reaches Manila on Monday

CNN  — 

A massive typhoon crept across central Philippines on Sunday, sending thousands of people into shelters and pouring heavy rain that heightened the risk of flooding and landslides.

Typhoon Hagupit – its name means “lash” in Filipino – moved west-northwest and targeted the city of Legazpi, just north of where the storm made landfall on Saturday.

CNN’s Saima Mohsin, reporting from Legazpi on Sunday, said shelters were full as high winds and driving rain battered the city. One of the city’s major fears is a storm surge that could reach 2-4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet).

With memories of last year’s devastating super typhoon fresh in their minds, more than 600,000 people had evacuated by Saturday morning, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. About 40 million people are in the path of the storm’s winds.

Gen. Gregorio Catapang, chief of staff of armed forces, said Sunday that soldiers were working to clear roads and airports so that emergency services could be delivered.

Eleven nations had offered assistance, including Australia, the United States, China, Japan and the United Kingdom.

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said that the storm is actually breaking up over the land mass of the Philippines, but will continue to pour heavy rain. He said 395 mm (15.5 inches) of rain were reported in Bororgan in 24 hours.

Hagupit is moving slowly on its west-northwest track, at 15 kph (9.3 mph). At that rate, it will take about three days for the storm to travel past the capital, Manila, dumping extreme amounts of rainfall – more than a foot in some places – as it goes.

Weakening before Manila

Hagupit should be even weaker by the time it passes near Manila on Monday evening.

That will lead to flash flooding and mudslides, even in places far away from the storm’s center.