Ruby maintains strength, moves closer to Samar

CEBU -- Public storm warning number 3 remained hoisted over Samar provinces as Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) continues to threaten the Samar Island while maintaining its strength and course Saturday morning.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 a.m. bulletin that Ruby was still packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 230 kph.

As of 4 a.m. Saturday, it was located at 240 kilometers east northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar, and was forecast to move west at 10 kph.

The provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Samar remained under public storm warning signal number 3, while signal number 2 was hoisted over Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Ticao Island in Luzon; Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu, Cebu City, Bantayan Island, and Camotes Island in Visayas; and Dinagat in Mindanao.

Under signal number 1 were Camarines Norte, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Burias Island, Romblon, Southern Quezon, and Marinduque in Luzon; Capiz, Iloilo, Antique, Guimaras, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, rest of Cebu, Siquijor, and Bohol in Visayas; and Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Camiguin in Mindanao.

Pagasa said Ruby is expected to make landfall Sunday morning over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area.

"It will be associated with strong winds, storm surge (up to 4.5 meters) and heavy-intense rainfall," it added.

The eye of the typhoon will be at 45 kilometers north of Borongan, Eastern Samar or at 110 kilometers southeast of Catarman, Northern Samar by Sunday morning; 30 kilometers east of Romblon, Romblon or in the vicinity of Sibuyan Island by Monday morning; and 150 kilometers west of Calapan City by Tuesday morning.

Pagasa said Ruby might exit the Philippine territory by Wednesday evening.

The weather bureau added that Ruby will bring an estimated rainfall amount of 7.5 to 20 millimeters per hour (heavy – intense) within its 600-kilometer diameter.

It will also bring rough to very rough sea conditions over the seaboards of Northern Luzon, eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon, seaboards of Visayas and over northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao as it interacts with the Northeast Monsoon. (LMY/Sunnex)

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