Almost one million people have evacuated from the path of powerful typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) as it slammed into the eastern Philippines, affecting areas devastated by super typhoon Haiyan 13 months ago.
As of 7:00 am today, “Ruby” was located in the vicinity of Calbayog, Western Samar with maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 15 kph.
It is expected to landfall in Masbate with strong winds, storm surge of up to 3 meters and heavy to torrential rainfall.
Aldczar Aurelion said typhoon “Ruby” will make three more landfalls. It will cross Masbate between 8:00 to 10:00 am today. It is estimated at Romblon by 8:00 pm and at Mindoro early morning tomorrow. Aurelio said effects of the typhoon will be felt in Metro Manila by Sunday night or Monday morning.
Since Friday, people in eastern and central Visayas and the Bicol region have fled to evacuation centers, in one of the biggest peacetime evacuations, according to a U.N. agency.
Typhoon “Ruby” made landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar at around 9:15 pm, Saturday, packing winds up to 175kph and gusts of 220 kph.
PAGASA said typhoon “Ruby” is likely to dump heavy amount of rainfall due to its agonizingly slow movement at 15 kph.
People in Tacloban City who sought shelter at the sports stadium said typhoon “Ruby” brought nightmares of super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan), one of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall that left more than 7,000 people dead or missing. “Yolanda” demolished about one million houses and displaced about four million people in the central Philippines. Thousands of families living in tents in Tacloban were prioritized in the evacuations.
Lashing winds brought by typhoon “Ruby” has downed at least 10 major power lines in Luzon and Visayas, leaving millions without electricity. Communication lines are also down.
Weather bureau PAGASA said 55 municipalities in central and eastern Philippines are at risk of storm surges of up to 4.5 ft.
The Philippine Coast Guard said 2,453 passengers are stranded in different ports in the country.
Airlines have cancelled flights as six regional airports were forced to shut down due to the onslaught of “Ruby”: Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City, Naga in Camarines Sur, Legazpi in Albay, Calbayog in Samar, Catarman in Northern Samar and Masbate. The Manila International Airport Authority announced 131 cancelled flights for December 7, 2014. (See the list of canceled flights here).
Google Crisis Response page
Google has set up a Typhoon Hagupit Crisis Response page. It contains relevant information from PAGASA, a weather map on the projected typhoon track, a list of emergency numbers, a Google Person Finder where netizens can search for missing persons or give information on the location of people affected by typhoon Ruby. It also has the latest news and updates about the typhoon.