Ruby threatens towns near Leyte's northern shores
LEYTE, Philippines - As the path of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) becomes clearer, disaster managers in Leyte said the typhoon will most likely affect coastal towns not battered by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
Local officials are focusing efforts on towns along the northern shores in the Carigara Bay. The towns that could be hit by storm surges of 3 to 4 meters are Babatngon, Barugo, Capoocan, Carigara, and San Miguel, they said. (READ: More areas warned vs Ruby storm surges)
This is unlike the situation in November 2013, during Super Typhoon Yolanda, when areas facing the Leyte Gulf – Tacloban City, and the coastal towns of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, and Dulag – bore the brunt of storm surges of 7 to 8 meters.
Of all the towns in Leyte, Babatngon is the most at risk, according to Governor Dominico Petilla.
Babatngon, a town with nearly 40,000 population, is only about 120 kilometers away from the projected path of Typhoon Ruby. The provincial government is closely monitoring the situation in the area as the typhoon is expected to make landfall Saturday night or early Sunday, December 7.
Petilla stressed people should stay away from the shores until Sunday. He warned residents in coastal areas that the storm surges can reach the second floor of two-story houses.
He also called on the people of Leyte to keep calm, prepare, and pray. "Ayaw kita pag-panic (Let's not panic)," he said.
The provincial government enforced massive preemptive evacuation of thousands of people across Leyte as early as Thursday, December 4, according to Petilla. (READ: The role of LGUs, local councils during disasters)
Petilla described Leyte's preparation as an "overkill" with the end goal of achieving "zero casualty." - Rappler.com