Los Angeles, California — A year ago Typhoon Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, destroyed the Philippines. The country gained international attention after an estimated 7,000 casualties were lost last year. When there should be celebration throughout their country right now, they were introduced to a new storm – Typhoon Ruby, internationally known as Typhoon Hagupit.

Typhoon Ruby. Photo Credit: The Philippine Star.

Typhoon Ruby. Photo Credit: The Philippine Star.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) revealed that Typhoon Ruby, originally categorized as a ‘Super Typhoon’ was headed towards the Philippine Islands early this December. Original winds were reported at 180 mph, JTWC says.

According to Weather.com:

At 4 a.m. EST Thursday, the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Hagupit’s maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 180 mph, putting it in a tie with Super Typhoons Vongfong and Nuri in October as the most powerful typhoon of 2014. Hagupit is now the equivalent of a high-end Category 5 hurricane.The Japan Meteorological Agency has declared Hagupit a “violent” typhoon, the highest classification on its scale, with 10-minute sustained winds of 130 mph.

Filipinos were prepared since last year’s incident and anticipated the new arrival of Typhoon Ruby.

Filipinos were asked to evacuate in a timely and prompt manner for fear of flooding and landslides. Churches were open for communities to take cover and shelter before the storm hit landfall. An estimate of 80,000 Filipinos were forced into evacuation centers to wait while the storm passes overhead. Moreover, the military posted in front of grocery stores to prevent looting, local officials even help evacuate cities and villages where Typhoon Ruby was projected to hit ABS-CBN says.

The Philippine Weather Bureau – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) have had live updates via Twitter to make important announcements regarding Typhoon Ruby’s path. Due to PAGASA’s constant update, seven villages were encouraged to evacuate: Baliti, Manuyog, Alangilan, Bonbon, Poblacion, Mayana, and Bugang. These villages sought out shelter before the landfall.

Ruby made landfall December 6th, 2014 at Dolores, Eastern Samar. Harsh winds and rains enveloped the Philippines according to local reports.

The hit and surrounding cities experienced complete lost of power due to the “wrath” of Ruby.

With the heavy rainfall and harsh winds some areas reported with up to 18 inches of rain. According to Weather.com:

Very heavy rain fell across the northwestern portions of the Philippines even as Hagupit’s winds diminished rapidly. Some areas just south and east of Manila picked up over a foot of rain, but the capital itself only received 1 to 2 inches.The top reported rainfall total was in Catbalogan, which is located on the eastern island of Samar where Hagupit first arrived in the Philippines. Catbalogan reported 446.6 mm (17.58 inches) of rain from 8 a.m. local time Dec. 5 through 11 p.m. local time Dec. 8.

The aftermath?

Filipinos sleeping in a local evacuation center. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN.

Filipinos sleeping in a local evacuation center. Photo Credit: ABS-CBN.

Tacloban, the main city that was destroyed last year by Typhoon Yolanda with about 7,000 casualties and leaving the majority of its town homeless was one of the main cities impacted by the storm. Water flooded the streets making it difficult for passersby to travel back to their homes. And According to ABS-CBN, 13,000 homes in Tacloban were completely destroyed.

Fortunately, the mayor of Tacloban, Mayor Alfred Romualdez says that no casualties have been reported in Tacloban as of yet.

Ruby landed with heavy rainfall and winds knocking down trees, homes, and businesses. Pictures reveal villages demolished in Tacloban and surrounding areas. Initial assumptions were that 23 people were presumed dead. The latest update reveals that the death count is only 18, which is still sad news to report. In addition, Filipinos who were initially evacuated from their homes are being asked to stay in the evacuation centers.

On Sunday, December 7th, 2014, a day after Ruby’s touchdown, General Gregorio Pio Catapang mentioned in a briefing that countries are offering assistance to help the Filipinos. Eleven nations pledged to help the Philippines. Countries include: United States, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Canada, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Malaysia and Thailand.

If you want to help the Philippines please visit VISAYAS.ORG and SAVETHECHILDREN.ORG they are currently accepting donations on their website.

LATEST UPDATE: December 11th, 2014 at 2:15 PM
TYPHOON RUBY OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES VICINITY, PAGASA SAYS

LATEST UPDATE: December 14th, 2014 4:05 PM
Estimated 18 people died from Ruby
Filipinos are being asked to stay in Evacuation Centers

LATEST UPDATE: December 15th, 2014 at 3:17 PM
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL SAYS DAMAGES ARE AROUND $75 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS