• Metro on ‘blue alert’ for Ruby; all classes called off

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    RUBY’S RAGE Huge waves brought about by strong winds pound a fishport building near Legazpi City on Sunday. Typhoon Ruby tore apart homes and sent waves crashing through coastal communities across the eastern Philippines. AFP PHOTO

    RUBY’S RAGE
    Huge waves brought about by strong winds pound a fishport building near Legazpi City on Sunday. Typhoon Ruby tore apart homes and sent waves crashing through coastal communities across the eastern Philippines. AFP PHOTO

    Metro Manila authorities have begun evacuating residents of shantytowns facing Manila Bay and sandbagging the seawall along Roxas Boulevard in preparation for the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby.

    Classes in all levels in the cities of Manila, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa City, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig, Quezon and Valenzuela and the municipality of Pateros were cancelled.

    Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said on Sunday Oplan Metro Yakal, the agency’s emergency response program, has been activated.

    Response teams have been deployed to four sections of the region—the North, South, East and West of Metro Manila—said Tolentino, who heads the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

    The council was placed on “blue alert,” which means half of its resources will be devoted to pre-typhoon preparations.

    Tolentino said cities in the south of Metro Manila—Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Pasay and Parañaque—have been tagged as “critical” areas.

    The local government of Manila has started preemptive evacuation in the bayshore communities of Isla Puting Bato, Parola and Baseco, while MMDA personnel have placed sandbags along the Roxas Boulevard seawall as protection against storm surges, he added.

    Building contractors were advised to secure their cranes and other construction equipment to prevent accidents when the typhoon’s winds sweep across Metro Manila.

    Tolentino also urged the public to temporarily remove their Christmas decor.

    Emma Quiambao, MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office director, said the agency’s pumping stations in San Juan, Pasig River and Libertad in Pasay City are on standby.

    Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) geologist Kevin Garas earlier identified 12 barangay (villages) in Metro Manila that are prone to landslides.

    They are Tunasan in Muntinlupa City, Fortune in Marikina City and Pansol, Batasan Hills, Loyola Heights, Payatas, Commonwealth, North Fairview, La Mesa, Bagong Silangan, Matandang Balara and Holy Spirit, all in Quezon City.

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