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  1. Mark Austin

Pope Francis prays for the dead and survivors in Tacloban

Pope Francis was met with storms as he arrived in the central Philippines city of Tacloban to pray for the dead and comfort survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the country's worst natural disaster that killed 6,300 people barely a year ago.

Pope Francis prays for the dead and survivors in Tacloban. Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of people wearing yellow raincoats cheered when Francis emerged from his plane in the coastal city of Tacloban 650 km (400 miles) southeast of Manila in steady rain and strong winds.

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Death toll in Philippines rises to 27

The death toll in the Philippines has risen to 27 in the aftermath of tropical storm Hagiput, according to the country's Red Cross.

Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross said: "We now have a total of 27 dead, most of them in Borongan, Eastern Samar."

Gordon also confirmed around 2,500 houses were totally or partially destroyed in Borongan during this weekend's storm.

'At least 21 dead' after Philippines battered by storm

The Philippine Red Cross have reported that at least 21 people have died in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagupit making landfall this weekend.

Strong winds and heavy rain brought by Typhoon Hagupit battered parts of the Philippines this weekend Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoc

It is believed that many of the storm's victims drowned as flood waters rose in Borongan, the main town in Eastern Samar where Hagupit first hit.

Gwendolyn Pang, secretary-general of the Philippine National Red Cross said: "We have confirmed reports that 21 people died in Eastern Samar, 16 of them in Borongan."

Typhoon Hagupit had its status downgraded to a tropical storm today as its strength weakened as it continued to make its way across the country.

Typhoon downgraded to 'tropical storm'

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, has been downgraded to the status of tropical storm.

The Philippines evacuated more than a million people ahead of the storm making landfall on Saturday and hundreds remain in shelters as Hagupit continues to cross the country as it heads to the capital Manila.

The country's official Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported the downgrading of the storm's status on its twitter feed.

Million evacuated as typhoon sweeps across Philippines

Torrential rain and high winds are still sweeping across the central Philippines, as a powerful typhoon moves slowly across the islands.

After thousands died in a similar storm last year, a million people were evacuated before this typhoon struck.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reports.

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Red Cross sends 28 food trucks to help typhoon victims

The International Committee of the Red Cross has sent 28 trucks loaded with food for those affected by Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines:

Flooding and power cuts as Typhoon Hagupit hits

Streets were flooded and entire regions lost all means of communication in the Philippines today as Typhoon Hagupit swept across the country.

Strong winds and waves brought by Typhoon Hagupit pound the seawall in Legazpi City Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

More than a million people fled to shelters away from the coastline and landslide-prone villages and sought refuge in local evacuation centres.

According to Reuters, local radio had reported that at least four people were killed in Eastern Samar and Iloilo but this was unconfirmed by officials.

Volcanic rocks are washed onto a main road during a flash flood brought by Typhoon Hagupit Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, has made landfall.

The country's official Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported the arrival of the storm on its twitter feed.

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