Typhoon Hagupit is sweeping through the Philippines, initially claiming the lives of two people, according to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The victims are a girl and an elderly person in the central province of lloilo.

According to the Philippines meteorological agency, with gusts up to 140kph near the epicentre, Hagupit is expected to hit the island Sibuyan in the early hours of December 8.

On December 7, the storm landed Cataingan on the island Masbate after it had swept through Dolores on East Samar, the central Philippines, a day earlier.

The storm has so far affected the life of more than 195,000 families and caused the closure of five airports and cancellation of 183 flights.

Key telecommunication systems in some areas on Leyte and East Samar islands were damaged while the outage also happened in other areas.

The storm is forecast to move west-northwest at a speed of 10kph.-VNA