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Former Typhoon Hagupit Nears Manila, Leaving Families ‘Praying’

Erin Joyce Estancia, seen here with her father Felix. Jim Seida / NBC News

MANILA, Philippines — Erin Joyce Estancia was among the 88 families who took refuge in a school before Tropical Storm Hagupit's expected arrival in Manila on Monday. "We evacuated as soon as possible,"� said the 22-year-old, who left her squatter's neighborhood in Navotas with her 10-year-old brother and 63-year-old father, Felix. Despite being much weaker than expected when it made landfall in Samar province on Saturday, the then Typhoon Hagupit left at least 21 people dead and forced more than one million to flee their homes. It weakened to a tropical storm as it churned its way toward the capital.

On the road from Legazpi to the capital, villages were inundated with waist-high water, and felled trees and power cables littered the streets. "We're just praying it's not going to be like Yolanda," said Estancia, referring to last year's typhoon — which was also known as Haiyan. It left more than 7,000 missing or dead.

IN-DEPTH

- Jim Seida and Jim Maceda