Heavy rain and strong winds began to hit the eastern Philippines Saturday ahead of a giant storm threatening more devastation to areas yet to recover from a super typhoon that killed thousands.
Typhoon Hagupit was moving slowly in the Pacific Ocean towards the disaster-plagued Southeast Asian nation and is expected to make landfall before dawn on Sunday, forecasters said.
More than 600,000 people in coastal areas were in evacuation centres according to the government, and many others were expected to pour in throughout Saturday amid warnings of house-destroying winds, giant storm surges and landslides.
Hagupit was forecast to hit remote fishing communities on the far eastern island of Samar first, then cut across mostly poor farming central regions, and possibly the densely populated capital of Manila.
Many communities in the central Philippines are still battling to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded on land, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing in November last year.
In Tacloban, one of the cities worst-hit by Haiyan's monster winds and tsunami-like storm surges, thousands of people on Saturday crammed into schools, churches and other evacuation centres.