Saturday, 6 December 2014

Typhoon Ruby makes landfall over Dolores, Eastern Samar

I am working for the Swiss Red Cross on the Typhoon Haiyan recovery operation and am based in Manila. Swiss Red Cross delegates are working on islands in the typhoon path and they, together with their Philippines Red Cross colleagues are keeping me updated regularly.

 Typhoon Ruby makes landfall over Dolores, Eastern Samar

PLUS: Updates from Tacloban, Samar, Albay, CamSur, Cebu, Biliran, Cavite, Capiz

(LAST UPDATED AT 11:36 P.M., DEC. 6) -- PAGASA confirms Typhoon Ruby has made landfall over Dolores at 9:15pm. PAGASA's Jori Loiz says Ruby spent some time along Eastern Samar's coastal area which means it is expected to bring torrential rains.
Ruby has maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 15 kph.

 At 10:00 PM today, the eye of Typhoon “RUBY” was located in the vicinity of Dolores, Eastern Samar or at 140 km East Southeast of Catarman, Northern Samar.

PAGASA also says, Metro Manila will feel the impact of Ruby on Monday morning, when it makes landfall over Oriental Mindoro.
Ruby is expected to exit PAR on Tuesday evening.

Here are the areas under storm warnings:

(Winds of 101-185 kph is expected in at least 18 hrs)
LUZON: Romblon, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon,and Masbate including Burias and Ticao Island
VISAYAS: Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte and Biliran.

SIGNAL NO. 2 (Winds of 61-100 kph is expected in at least 24 hrs)
LUZON: Camarines Norte, Southern Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.
VISAYAS: Northern Antique, Aklan, Semirara Grp. of Islands, Capiz, Northern Iloilo, Northern Cebu including Cebu City, Bantayan and Camotes Island, and Southern Leyte

SIGNAL NO. 1 (Winds of 30-60 kph is expected in at least 36 hrs)
LUZON: Pampanga, Bulacan, Rest of Quezon, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Lubang Island, Calamian Group of Islands, Cuyo and Metro Manila
VISAYAS: Rest of Antique,Rest of Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Rest of Cebu and Bohol.
MINDANAO: Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island and Dinagat Province.

Scroll down for updates from Tacloban, Samar, Albay, CamSur, Cebu, Biliran, Cavite, Capiz

SLIDESHOW: Philippines braces for Typhoon Ruby

 Waves scatter garbage along Legazpi Boulevard in Legazpi City.
TACLOBAN HIT BY STRONG WINDS, POWER OUTAGESTacloban City is hit by strong winds from Typhoon Ruby and by power outages.

Tacloban Vice-Mayor Jerry Yaokasin says the city has been without electricity since 6:00 p.m., Saturday evening.

He says authorities are now taking steps to prevent looting which was rampant in the aftermath of 'Yolanda.'

Police and military personnel have been deployed to secure business establishments.

About 10,000 families are currently staying in evacuation centers.

Yaokasin says 95% of all residents from coastal areas have been evacuated.

But the Vice-Mayor adds evacuation centers have become overcrowded, since schools or buildings near the shore are no longer being used as temporary shelters.

Electricity is out in Calbayog, Samar where typhoon Ruby is expected to hit early Sunday.

As of 10:00. Saturday evening, the city was already experiencing Ruby's strong winds.

Most residents along coastal areas have been evacuated and thousands are now in temporary shelters.

There's still no confirmation that Ruby will barrel through Calbayog.

But given the typhoon's diameter, authorities are expecting a lot of damage since most houses there are made of light materials.

Barangay officials made the rounds in Legazpi City to convince coastal residents to leave. Storm surges there could be severe.

While there's still time, residents placed sandbags on the roof of their homes, while others dismantled their huts. Many wasted no time and left their homes immediately.

But some refused to heed the warnings, saying they could not leave their belongings.

The Albay government needs to move 128,217 families out of harms way.

The PDRRMC says 98,000 families are currently in temporary shelters, depleting resources already strained by evacuees from Mayon.

This is why Albay government declared a state of calamity before Typhoon Ruby even hit.

Distribution of relief supplies to evacuees continues taking advantage of the good weather, which may not last for long.

Scroll down for updates from Cebu, Biliran, Cavite, Capiz
CAMARINES SUR DECLARES STATE OF CALAMITY BECAUSE OF 'RUBY'Camarines Sur has also declared a state of calamity. More than 32,000 families have been evacuated from danger zones due to Typhoon Ruby. Local officials are closely monitoring towns near the Ragay Gulf.

The City of Naga has also suspended classes in all levels and work in government offices on Monday, December 8.

Strong winds and rains from Typhoon Ruby have hit Daanbantayan in Northern Cebu and many more families from coastal areas have begun to evacuate.

The sports complex and other evacuation centers are getting filled and relief goods have been distributed to the evacuees.

The municipal hall of Daanbantayan, which was hit hard by 'Yolanda' last year, has already been reinforced ahead of 'Ruby'.

Rescue teams and equipment are already on standby in Daanbantayan.


Nearly 30,000 people have been evacuated in Biliran in preparation for Typhoon Ruby.

Biliran Govenor Gerardo Espina says, the preemptive evacuation was ordered as Biliran is the next area expected to be hit, after Dolores.

Espina also says, electricity in the province was cut off Saturday afternoon.

Relief goods have been distributed to the evacuees.

"Nagsimula na mamigay ng relief goods...nagbigay narin ng gamot...pero hindi rin natin alam kung magiging sapat kasi hindi natin alam kung anong magiging pinsala," Espina said


Cavite has suspended work and classes in all levels on Monday and Tuesday: December 8 and 9.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla cited the high risk of Typhoon Ruby.

Remulla says, only essential employees from the province's disaster committee will be required to work.

Scroll down for updates from Capiz, Red Cross

Capiz -- now under signal number 2 -- began enforcing mandatory evacuation, Saturday afternoon.

Areas covered by the mandatory evacuation are Pilar,  Pontevedra, President Roxas, Panay, and Roxas City.

Local officials say, there's a risk of storm surges hitting these areas.

The social welfare department has identified 30 evacuation centers in Capiz.

Strong winds, rains, and rough seas are now being felt there.


The Philippine Red Cross is ready for rescue and relief efforts in areas that will be hit by Typhoon Ruby.

PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang says their teams are on the ground and equipment and relief goods have been prepositioned since Wednesday.

She says, there are Red Cross teams in Guian, Eastern Samar, Basey, Borongan, Catbalogan as well as Tolosa and Tacloban in Leyte, where recovery efforts are still ongoing for 'Yolanda' survivors.

My first typhoon reƩlief operation was 42 years ago.
 October 1972, Hurricane Bebe Fiji. My first Typhoon or Hurricane relief operation. I was the IFRC 'Flying Squad ' member, the forerunner of FACT when they sent in one person to work with the affected national Red Cross Society. The New Zealand Government sent me in with a C-130 (Hercules plane) and a helicopter to do an assessment with Fiji Red Cross. An aerial assessment of the mainland (Veti Levu) and 70 remote islands was done in 3 days. Forty two years later I am working on the massive Typhoon Yolande (Haiyan) operation in the Philippines with an equally destructive Typhoon Ruby just having made  landfall. What have I learned in 42 years? Volunteers at community level is what it is all about, and that is the strength of the Philippine Red Cross. Good luck guys, I know you will deliver with passion, professionalism and dedication.

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