Come tomorrow, the strongest typhoon to hit The Philippines this year, Typhoon Hagupit (aka Ruby), will make landfall. And with wind gusts currently reported as high as 143 mph, residents of areas ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan just a year ago, are bracing for the worst. Rightly so.
Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, was the most powerful typhoon to ever make landfall there. And according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii, the fourth strongest cyclone ever recorded. The supertyphoon decimated parts of the Philippines, namely Tacloban and Guiuan, located on the central island of Samar, and Ormoc on the island of Leyte, on November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 people dead or missing.
Unfortunately, weather authorities believe Typhoon Hagupit will take a similar path, hitting areas already destroyed by Haiyan. Areas where life, for many, is still not back to normal.
Thousands of local residents, many of which are still living in temporary shelters, are now rushing to flee coastal areas. In fact, Tacloban’s disaster office spokesman, Ilderando Bernadas, estimates around 19,000 people from up to 35 provinces have already taken shelter inside 26 designated evacuation centers. That number is expected to double in the next few hours.
As of this post, the cyclone continues to make its way toward the Philippines. And even though it’s been downgraded a bit (thankfully), is expected to deal a very serious blow with excessive winds and rain. Images of evacuees and storm preparations are appearing everywhere, as are those of the devastation left by this storm’s predecessor – not so subtle reminders of what may loom ahead.
While Hagupit, or Ruby, may be thousands of miles away for many of us, it certainly warrants the world’s attention. Take this time to ready yourself, your family, your community and your business for potential weather threats.