Typhoon Ruby keeps strength

MANILA (Updated) -- Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) has maintained its strength while gearing up for a potential landfall in Samar on Saturday.

Ruby was last spotted 435 kilometers (km) east of Borongan, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 11 a.m. bulletin.

Ruby is still moving west northwest at 13 kph.

Signal number 2 is hoisted over Sorsogon, Ticao Island, Masbate, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu including Cebu City, Bantayan Island and Camotes Island.

Areas under signal number 1 are Albay,Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Burias Island, Romblon, Capiz, Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Rest of Cebu, Siquijor, Bohol, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Island, Siargao Island, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Sur and Camiguin Island.

State weather forecasters said that Ruby is expected to be at 120 km east northeast of Borongan by Saturday morning. On Sunday, Ruby is estimated to be at 50 km west of Catarman, Northern Samar or at 60 km east of Masbate City, Masbate. By Monday, the typhoon is expected to be at in the vicinity of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Ruby is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police regional units in the areas in the path of the typhoon have been placed on full alert.

These areas are Calabarzon (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro,Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas, Davao and Caraga, said Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations Leonardo Espina.

Policemen were also deployed to help in the evacuation of people living near the shores, especially in Tacloban City, which was badly hit by last year's Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). In Ormoc, 1,500 individuals were already evacuated.

"In Tacloban, most people that need to be evacuated are already in bunkhouses, only a few are still in tents near shores. People are evacuating by themselves to avoid what happened at the time of Typhoon Yolanda," said Eastern Visayas police community relations officer Superintendent Carlos Centinaje.

The PNP earlier said that the accounting and alerting of personnel started on Wednesday as well as the preposition of search and rescue equipment such as generator sets, radio, motor vehicles. (Sunnex)

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