TACLOBAN CITY—At least 10,000 to 15,000 residents in Tacloban City are being preemptively evacuated from their homes due to the threat from Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) which is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on weekend.

The residents of San Jose and many neighboring districts were brought to the Tacloban Convention Center (Astrodome) on Wednesday who was still living in tent shelters.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez said via reports that the Astrodome is one of the biggest and most stable structures in the city, which last year bore the brunt of devastation from super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Meanwhile, residents of the said villages are hesitant to stay on Tacloban Astrodome since the evacuation center is very near to the sea and the water can enter the site like what had happened during Yolanda.

Furthermore, several Tacloban residents also lined up at grocery stores to buy food and supplies that could last for a week.

Tacloban Panic Buying
Tacloban Panic Buying – Image from AFP

At press time, candles, flashlights and transistor radios are out of supply to many groceries at downtown area due to the eagerness of the residents to prepare for the upcoming typhoon.

It said the residents had learned from their experience from Yolanda. Last year, many went hungry due to the lack of food supply.

In Eastern Samar, Guiuan Mayor Christopher Gonzalez said residents had volunteered to evacuate while residents at Hernani Eastern Samar prompted to evacuate themselves to a safe places in the area.

The two municipalities of Eastern Samar are among those towns who suffered during Yolanda.

For its part, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Thursday that Eastern Visayas residents staying in tents will be moved to permanent shelters.

In connection with the Hagupit / Ruby weather update, here are the latest reports from PAGASA and JWTC:

PAGASA Weather Forecast:

Synopsis: at 4:00 am today (December 4, 2014), the eye of Typhoon “RUBY” was located based on all available data at 942 km East Northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur or 1,023 km East of Surigao City (9.4˚N, 134.8˚E), with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 25 kph. Northeast monsoon affecting Northern Luzon.

Typhoon forecast direction:

Hagupit Ruby Typhoon Direction
Image from Pagasa

However, according to Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) saying it is already carrying winds of 240 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 296 km/h.

The JTWC’s forecast track also differs from the PAGASA track – the typhoon moving slightly more northwest, and skirting the northeast coast of Bicol.

JTWC Wind Direction Forecast
JTWC Wind Direction Forecast

 

(CARLENE MADGE MORANTTE, LNU INTERN)

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