MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Southern Luzon and Metro Manila are bracing for the effects of Tropical Storm Ruby (Hagupit) Monday evening, December 8, government meteorologists said, as the typhoon starts to cross Batangas and Cavite.
Ruby, carrying maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 100 km/h, is forecast to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rain (5-15 mm/h) as it traverses the area, PAGASA said in its 5 pm bulletin.
The center of Ruby made landfall over Laiya, San Juan, Batangas, at 5:45 pm Monday evening, the bureau said.
Public storm warning signal number 2 is currently in effect over these areas:
- Southern Quezon
- Northern Oriental Mindoro including Lubang Island
- Metro Manila
Meanwhile, signal number 1 is hoisted over these areas:
- Rest of Quezon
- Rest of Mindoro
All other storm signals have been lowered.
The center of the weather system will be closest to Manila between 10-11 pm Monday, as it crosses Cavite province, and will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rain, the bureau said. (READ: Metro Manila prepares for ‘worst,’ thousands evacuate)
The rain brought by Ruby is expected to aid in filling up some of Luzon’s dams, which the bureau said is still below their desired levels. The bureau said these dams need more water so that there will be enough water come the dry summer months.
It is still moving towards the west northwest, but is now moving faster at a speed of 13 km/h. The slow-moving system is forecast to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday evening, December 10, the bureau said.
PAGASA said Ruby is seen to further weaken, as it hits Luzon, a larger landmass compared to the other islands the storm hit.
Storm surges are still possible up to 1 meter high, and with the effect of the high tide past 10 pm, some areas might possibly have flooding. (READ: High tide to aggravate Ruby impact in Metro)
“TS Ruby and the Northeast Monsoon will cause rough to very rough sea conditions over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas. Fisherfolks and those using small sea craft are advised not to venture out over the said seaboards,” the bureau said.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Alexander Pama warned again residents of flood-prone areas in Metro Manila to evacuate. “Kung may plano po tayong lumikas, ngayon po ang oras (If you plan to evacuate, this is the time,” he said during a briefing earlier.
Meanwhile, the state weather bureau said they are observing another potential weather system in the Pacific Ocean, but said it is still too early to tell if it will become a storm or if it will just dissipate.
The next bulletin will be issued at 11 pm. – With a report from Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com