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Filipinos Take Refuge in Church as Typhoon Hagupit Closes In

People shelter inside a church turned into a temporary evacuation center in Tacloban City, Philippines, on Dec. 5, 2014. Thousands of people were stranded after flights and sea travel were cancelled ahead of typhoon Hagupit's expected landfall.
People shelter inside a church turned into a temporary evacuation center in Tacloban City, Philippines, on Dec. 5, 2014. Thousands of people were stranded after flights and sea travel were cancelled ahead of typhoon Hagupit's expected landfall. FRANCIS R. MALASIG / EPA

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Filipinos took shelter inside a church-turned-temporary evacuation center in the city of Tacloban on Friday ahead of a powerful typhoon's expected landfall. Almost 32 million people are expected to be affected when typhoon Hagupit arrives in central parts of the island nation Saturday afternoon or evening.

About 19,000 people from coastal villages thronged into 26 evacuation centers in Tacloban, Ildebrando Bernadas of the city's disaster office told Reuters. Tacloban accounted for about half of the death toll from super typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines last year and killed more than 6,000 people.

Image: Residents evacuated away from the coast in Tacloban city
A woman prays inside a makeshift church in Tacloban City on Friday.FRANCIS R. MALASIG / EPA

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