Ruby’s landfall almost inevitable: PAGASA

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Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Friday urged the public to further brace for expected storm surges, “heavy to intense” rainfall and “strong” winds due to typhoon ‘Ruby’ (international name ‘Hagupit’), forecasting an even higher probability of such tropical cyclone hitting land this weekend.

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“There’s already over 80 percent probability of ‘Ruby’ making landfall in the country,” forecaster Cris Perez said Friday (Dec. 5) on the side of a briefing in Metro Manila.

Perez said latest available forecast models of PAGASA and international weather organizations increasingly indicate a possible landfall scenario for ‘Ruby,’ raising the 75 percent probability reported earlier this week for such occurrence.

Rain-driving ‘Ruby’ will likely cross Central Philippines and head for West Philippine Sea as there’s still “low” possibility for this typhoon to re-curve northwards and pass between two other existing weather systems north of the Philippines, he said.

“We’re therefore alerting people about possible flashfloods and landslides especially in low-lying and mountainous areas,” he said.

Perez also warned that Ruby and the prevailing northeast monsoon, or “amihan”, would cause rough to very rough sea conditions, making sailing off Philippines’ northern and eastern seaboards dangerous.

In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin released Friday, PAGASA reported ‘Ruby’ as packing a maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour near its center and gustiness of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

‘Ruby’ maintained its strength and continued moving west-northwest towards the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area, said PAGASA.

PAGASA expects ‘Ruby’ to landfall in the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area around Saturday evening (Dec. 6).

“The typhoon may either weaken or maintain its strength after landfalling – either way, people must prepare for such occurrence,” Perez noted.

‘Ruby’ is forecast to move west-northwest at 13 kilometers per hour, PAGASA also said.

People must beware of storm surges 4.0 meters to 5.0 meters high due to ‘Ruby,’ PAGASA warned.

The agency likewise expects “heavy to intense” rainfall of 7.5 millimeters to 20 millimeters per hour in areas within the typhoon’s 700-kilometer diameter.

According to PAGASA, ‘Ruby’ will likely be 120 kilometerseast-northeast of Borongan in Eastern Samar province by Saturday morning and 50 kilometers west of Catarman in Northern Samar province or 60 kilometers east of Masbate City in Masbate province by Sunday morning (Dec.7).

‘Ruby’ is forecast to be in the vicinity of Oriental Mindoro province’s Calapan City by Monday morning (Dec.8), noted PAGASA,

“If such forecast track occurs, ‘Ruby’ will likely exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday morning (Dec. 10),” Perez said.

Perez said public storm signal 2 is already up over Sorsogon, Masbate, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu, Cebu City, Ticao Island, Bantayan Island and Camotes Island.

He said government also raised public storm signal 1 overCatanduanes, Albay, Camrines Norte, Camarines Sur, Romblon, Capiz, Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Bohol, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Burias Island, Dinagat Island, Siargao Island, Camiguin island and the rest of Cebu.

Perez urged the public to monitor PAGASA’s weather advisories so they can keep abreast of developments regarding ‘Ruby’ and act accordingly.

‘Ruby’ is a typhoon which people must prepare for, he added. PNA

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