Manila, Dec 8:
Typhoon Hagupit claimed at least 21 lives in central Philippines even as it weakened into a tropical storm, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said Monday.
Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said 16 fatalities were reported from Borongan, Eastern Samar Province; one each in provinces of Northern Samar and Samar; and three in Iloilo Province.
Most of the victims were drowned in flash floods that occurred in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit — locally known as Ruby, Xinhua reported citing the PRC.
Included in the Red Cross headcount were two people who died due to hypothermia and were officially reported by the state-run National Disaster Reduction and Management Council (NDRMC).
Classes in educational institutions at all levels and government work in three regions, including Metro Manila, were suspended Monday as Hagupit was expected to affect the metropolis later in the day. (IANS)