TAGUIG City -- Typhoon Ruby (international code name Hagupit) has weakened according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and has been has been downgraded to a tropical storm.
On its 11 a.m. advisory on Monday, December 8, PAGASA noted that Typhoon Ruby has weakened and is now packing maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour (kph) with a gustiness of up to 135 kph. With its present track, it is forecast to move west northwest at a slow pace of 10 kph. Because TY Ruby weakened, it is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday instead of the initial forecast of Wednesday.
Metro Manila expects to experience strong winds and heavy rains from Typhoon Ruby when the tropical cyclone passes close to the metropolis between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, December 8.
DOST-PAGASA has raised public storm warning Signal No. 2 over Metro Manila, while Signal No. 3 warning was raised in several provinces south of the nation's capital.
Storm Signal No. 3 (with winds of between 101-185 kph is expected in at least 18 hours) is raised over the following areas: Bataan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Lubang Island and Southern Quezon.
Storm Signal No. 2 (with winds of 61-100 kph is expected in at least 24 hours) is raised over the following areas:MKetro Manila, Pampanga, Rizal, Bulacan, rest of Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, CamarinesNorte, Camarines Sur, Romblon, and Burias Island.
Storm Signal No. 1 (with winds of 30 - 60 kph is expected in at least 36 hours) remains hoisted over the following areas:Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Polillo Island, Albay, Sorsogon, Ticao Island, Calamian Group of Islands, Masbate, Aklan, Capiz, and Semirara Island.
DOST-PAGASA also issued a warning of possible 3-meter-high storm surges in areas where storm Signal No. 3 is hoisted. Typhoon Ruby will be bringing moderate to heavy rainfall within the 450-km diameter, slightly smaller than its initial size of 600-700 km diameter when it first hit landmass in Dolores, Eastern Samar on Saturday, December 6.
Meanwhile reports from different provinces are starting to come in either through media coverages on radio and television and even through social media and those received by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC.
According to NDRRMC, at least two people had been reported dead in the Visayas, in Estancia and Balasan in Iloilo, due to hypothermia.
However, it was good news for the province of Masbate where no casualty has been reported yet as of this writing according to Jose Tamayo, Provincial Administrator of Masbate during a live radio interview in DZRH this morning, December 8.
Also, Jojo Vicencio of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association in an interview with DZRH this morning, December 8, noted that the provinces of Samar and Negros Oriental experienced orderly evacuation operations with early advice from different government agencies like the NDRRMC and PAGASA and local government units. He reported that clearing operations have started in the Tacloban-Guiuan Road that leads to Borongan, Eastern Samar. He also noted that many motorcycle riding residents of the affected areas were roaming the streets and giving reports and updates to local authorities; a sign that the Filipino “bayanihan spirit” is very much alive. (S&T Media Service)