PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

METRO MANILA STARTS TO FEEL 'RUBY' TODAY, WITHIN 24 HOURS
Storm leaves Visayas, at least 10 dead 

MOMDAY, DEC 8, 1:52 A.M. --PHOTO: POWERLESS IN ALBAY Motorists pass by fallen electrical posts as strong winds brought by Typhoon “Ruby” hit Camalig town, Albay province. The typhoon knocked out power, mowed down trees and sent more than 650,000 people into shelters in the province before it weakened on Sunday. Metro Manila will have stormy weather on Monday as Ruby lashes Southern Luzon after whipping the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions. AP MANILA, DECEMBER 8, 2014 (INQUIRER) Dona Z. Pazzibugan @inquirerdotnet - Metro Manila will have stormy weather on Monday as Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) lashes Southern Luzon after whipping the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions over the weekend. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Public Storm Signal No. 2 over Metro Manila Sunday, warning of occasional rains and gusty winds of 61-100 kilometers per hour within 24 hours. Classes are suspended at all levels throughout the metropolis, with school buildings in riverine communities marked for use as evacuation centers in case of flooding. Pagasa said Metro Manila and surrounding provinces began to feel the effects of Ruby late Sunday. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Palace suspends classes, gov’t work in NCR, Regions 4-A, 4-B

DEC 8 --PHOTO: A resident rides a tricycle on their way to an evacuation center as
strong winds and rains from Typhoon Hagupit hit Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Typhoon Hagupit knocked out power in entire coastal provinces, mowed down trees and sent more than 650,000 people into shelters before it weakened Sunday, sparing the central Philippines a repetition of unprecedented devastation by last year’s storm. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang suspended government work and classes in all levels in the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), and 4-B (Mimaropa) on Monday, December 8, due to heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).
“By authority of the President, classes at all levels and work in government offices have been suspended by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. for today, December 8, 2014, except for those agencies whose work involves the delivery of basic and health services, disaster response, and other vital public services,” said Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte early Monday morning. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: After 'Ruby', ‘Yolanda’ survivors find homes in ruins again 

DEC 7 --9:55 P.M. PHOTO: A man is seen on top of his damaged house in Tacloban City on Sunday. AFP TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — A year after losing all their belongings to one of the world’s strongest storms, thousands of weary people in the Philippines emerged from evacuation shelters on Sunday to find their homes again in ruins. Typhoon “Ruby” (international name Hagupit) hit the central Philippines late on Saturday with gusts of 210 kilometers an hour, destroying flimsy houses, tearing roofs off others, knocking down power poles and smashing bridges. During a terrifying night, it cut across Tacloban City and dozens of other communities that were only just starting to recover from last year’s catastrophic Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “We were on edge the entire night because the winds were so strong. We could see roofs flying,” 39-year-old peanut vendor and Yolanda survivor Vicente Roquero told AFP at an evacuation centre in Tacloban on Leyte island. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: 6 babies born shrieking as typhoon passes Cebu, 2 named Baby Ruby 

DEC 8 --PHOTO: Ruby Marie slept in the arms of her 27-year-old mother Juvelyn Paghubasan, when Cebu Daily News visited their ward at the Daanbantayan District Hospital yesterday morning. Doctors at the Daanbantayan District Hospital expect more mothers to give birth today. (CDN PHOTO/ TONEE DESPOJO) DAANBANTAYAN, Cebu—The winds were roaring while Juvelyn Panghubasan was having labor pains. But Panghubasan hardly thought about Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) that was threatening this northern town of Cebu province on Saturday. Her concern was to give birth to her baby safely. And there was no stopping the baby. Panghubasan gave birth to her first child at 6:10 p.m. while strong winds and rains were hammering the district hospital in Daanbantayan town, 130 kilometers north of Cebu City. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: MORE FOOD NEEDED: Evacuation centers in Cebu running low on provisions as number of evacuees rises 

DEC 8 --PHOTO: Foreigners help unload sacks of rice from a truck at the repacking hub of Central Visayas at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City. The worst may be over for Cebu but the challenge to feed over 10,000 displaced residents is beginning to hound officials. Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) has yet to complete its crossing of the Visayas but evacuation centers especially those in northern Cebu are running low on food and water as the number of evacuees has increased overnight. Gov. Hilario Davide III said some of the mayors yesterday expressed fear that the food supply in evacuation centers might not be enough. “That is why I asked the PGSO (general services office) and the PSWDO (social welfare office) to work faster,” he told reporters. Towns in Camotes and Bantayan islands were cut off from the provincial government’s relief assistance network due to the existing storm warning signal over Cebu which prohibits ferry crossings. “Once it is cleared, we will immediately deploy the goods to them,” Davide said. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Gov’t-built shelters blown away like paper 

DEC 8 ---Sloppy government priorities and preparations amid typhoon “Ruby” which is cutting across the country had resulted in putting in harm’s way some of the victims of last year’s supertyphoon “Yolanda,” according to a group representing Yolanda survivors. People Surge reported that bunk houses in Tacloban have been destroyed by the typhoon where people refused to leave despite the danger staying in the flimsy structures. “Its residents were refused relief goods from DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) by their bunk house leader for not staying at these bunk houses during the storms,” People Surge said.The bunk houses have become a source of controversy during the rehabilitation of the Yolanda-devastated areas after allegations of collusion between government officials and contractors in setting up overpriced temporary shelters. A result of a Senate investigation proved unsubstantiated the allegations of overprice but it still found the structures substandard owing to the Aquino administration’s “lack of funds” despite the huge budget including a supplemental allocation from Congress for rehabilitation work. READ FULL REPORT...

(ALSO) Fingers crossed: Latest storm not that deadly 

DEC 8 12:01 A.M.--LET’S GET OUT OF HERE, BABY. Relief workers raced against the clock to take people, including this baby, out of harm’s way in Legazpi City ---Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) was on Sunday churning across the Philippines, the latest in a never-ending series of often-deadly storms that plague the Southeast Asian archipelago. With more than 7,100 islands, the country is hit by an average of 20 typhoons or tropical storms each year. The storms are created above the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean near the equator, and the Philippines’ islands are often the first major landmass they hit as they move northwest. The following are the 10 deadliest typhoons on record in the Philippines. CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Metro Manila feels ‘Ruby’ Monday
Storm leaves at least 10 dead in Visayas


POWERLESS IN ALBAY Motorists pass by fallen electrical posts as strong winds brought by Typhoon “Ruby” hit Camalig town, Albay province. The typhoon knocked out power, mowed down trees and sent more than 650,000 people into shelters in the province before it weakened on Sunday. Metro Manila will have stormy weather on Monday as Ruby lashes Southern Luzon after whipping the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions. AP

MANILA, DECEMBER 8, 2014 (INQUIRER) Dona Z. Pazzibugan @inquirerdotnet - Metro Manila will have stormy weather on Monday as Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) lashes Southern Luzon after whipping the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions over the weekend.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Public Storm Signal No. 2 over Metro Manila Sunday, warning of occasional rains and gusty winds of 61-100 kilometers per hour within 24 hours.

Classes are suspended at all levels throughout the metropolis, with school buildings in riverine communities marked for use as evacuation centers in case of flooding.

Pagasa said Metro Manila and surrounding provinces began to feel the effects of Ruby late Sunday.

While Ruby maintained its strength, with winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour, gusts of up to 170 kph, torrential rains and storm surges up to 3 meters high, it also slowed down, crossing the country’s central section and moving toward the West Philippine Sea at just 10 kph.

“The longer the typhoon stays, the more destruction it causes,” Jori Luiz, senior weather forecaster for Pagasa, said.

Ruby moved so slowly that it remained in the vicinity of the island province of Masbate throughout Sunday after making a landfall there at 9 a.m., Pagasa said.

By Monday afternoon, it said the center of the storm would be 70 km east of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro province, or 160 km west of Quezon City, so Metro Manila and surrounding provinces would have heavy rains and strong winds.

By Tuesday afternoon, Ruby will be farther away from the Luzon landmass, with its eye at 170 km southwest of Quezon City.

Pagasa said Ruby was expected to clear the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday.

Storm signals up

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, Pagasa raised the highest Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 over Masbate (including Ticao and Burias Islands), Marinduque, Romblon and Oriental Mindoro, warning these areas of stormy weather with winds of 101-185 kph in the next 18 hours.

The weather bureau also warned residents against flash floods, landslides and storm surges that could reach up to 3 m high.

Pagasa raised Public Storm Signal No. 2 over Batangas, Sorsogon, Albay, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Lubang Island, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, Northern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Aklan, Capiz, Northern Cebu including Cebu City, Bantayan Island and Camotes Island.

These places can expect stormy weather with winds of 61 kph to 100 kph in the next 24 hours. Pagasa also warned residents against storm surges that could reach up to 2 m high, flash floods and landslides.

Downgraded from supertyphoon as it roared in from the Pacific Ocean, Ruby made landfall in Eastern Samar on Saturday night.

It smashed into the town of Dolores at 9:15 p.m. with maximum winds of 175 kph and gusts of 210 kph, Pagasa said.

The wind strength at landfall made Ruby the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year, exceeding Typhoon “Glenda” (international name: Rammasun), which hit Metro Manila in July and killed 106 people.

Ruby cut across Eastern Visayas at 15 kph, tearing apart homes and sending waves crashing through coastal communities in a region still grappling to recover from devastation caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) on Nov. 8 last year.

Learning from that tragedy, however, the region had prepared well for Ruby.

Although Ruby destroyed thousands of homes and caused extensive flooding, it left communities unlittered with bodies, unlike Yolanda, which killed 6,300 people and left thousands of others injured or missing in Eastern Visayas.

10 dead

As of Sunday, only seven deaths had been reported in three towns and one city in Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.

Three other fatalities were reported in Iloilo, mainly due to hypothermia. The youngest of those who died was a 4-month-old infant named Princess Jane Almega, of Sitio (settlement) Pagbalican in Calbayog City, Samar.

Two were killed by falling trees in Dolores and another in Sulat, also in Eastern Samar, and an elderly woman in Catarman town, Northern Samar.

There were no reports of casualties in Masbate as of early night Sunday.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was amazed at how Dolores survived Ruby, although he was not quite up-to-date with the number of fatalities in the town.

“This is ground zero and we have only one fatality. So this is really about leadership [of the local government],” Roxas told the Inquirer in Dolores on Sunday.

Ruby’s powerful winds, however, left thousands in the northern part of Eastern Samar homeless. Its heavy rains caused extensive flooding, driving more than 300,000 people into evacuation centers. The town of Borongan was deeply flooded, up to nearly 2 meters in some areas.

Initial reports from Dolores showed that 929 of 8,593 houses were destroyed, while 1,105 others were damaged. So far, damage to infrastructure was placed at P800,000.

Ruby was moving slowly, bringing more rainfall and a risk of landslides and flash floods.

Terrified of their experience during Yolanda, more than 600,000 people across the Eastern and Central Visayas fled to evacuation centers before Ruby hit, which UN humanitarian agency spokesman

Denis McClean, speaking from Geneva on Saturday, said was one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in Philippine history—similar to the 1 million people who were moved last year along India’s coastline before Cyclone Phailin struck.

The government, backed by the 120,000-strong military, launched massive preparations to attain a zero-casualty target.

Not like ‘Yolanda’

With 10 dead in Eastern Visayas and in Iloilo, the government failed to attain that goal. But the aftermath was not as horrible as Yolanda.

“There were no bodies scattered on the road, no big mounds of debris,” Rhea Fortuna, a 29-year-old mother of one, said after peering out of an evacuation center in Tacloban City, Leyte province, Sunday. “Thanks to God this typhoon wasn’t as violent.”

But “many houses, especially in the coastal areas, were blown away by strong winds,” Stephanie Uy-Tan, the mayor of Catbalogan City in Samar, said. “Trees and power lines were toppled, tin roofs were blown off and there is flooding.”

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), said priority was being given to the clearing of main roads and airports in the stricken provinces to clear the way for shipment of relief and equipment.

Ruby made four more landfalls after Dolores: in Cataingan in Masbate, then on Sibuyan Island, Romblon Island and nearby Tablas Island in Romblon province.

Responders were having difficulty in getting to hard-hit areas in Northern and Eastern Samar because toppled trees and electric posts blocked the roads.

As of 6 Sunday night, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar had no electricity following shutdown at the Tongonan power plants that was forced by Ruby.

Power down

According to Cynthia Perez-Alabanza, spokesperson for the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the extent and nature of the damage would not be known until NGCP teams could make inspections starting Monday or when the weather improved.

She said Bohol was also without electricity because the island province was supplied by power plants in Leyte.

Rescue operations in and gathering of information from Northern Samar and Eastern Samar were hampered by poor communications after telecommunication giants Smart Communications Inc., Sun Cellular and Globe Telecommunications lost signal starting 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Yolly Crisanto of Globe said in a text message that the company conducted preventive and maintenance checks, and gave assurance that restoration would start as soon as possible.

In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Ramon Isberto, spokesman for Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), said Smart and Sun continued to operate in most areas affected by Ruby, except in Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.

Despite reports of prepositioning of relief goods by the government, shortages of provisions were reported on Sunday.

Two island towns in Samar—Almagro and Sto. Niño—were asking for help, as their food supplies were good for only one day. Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento of Samar’s first district said provisions would be sent to the two towns as soon as the weather improved.

In Daanbantayan town, Cebu, evacuation centers began to feel a lack of water as the number of evacuees increased on Saturday. Supplies of rice and groceries also began to be depleted as the typhoon moved slowly across the region.

Heide Aplece, municipal social welfare chief, said the local government had asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to send more supplies.

All safe in Masbate

In Masbate, PO3 Zandro Cabintoy, spokesman for the provincial police, said there were no storm surges, as Ruby hit at low tide.

He said only minimal flooding occurred in Masbate City and all roads in the province remained passable. Only the bridges in Pinamarbuhan and Banadero villages in Mobo town were impassable due to flooding caused by heavy rains.

Maj. Gen. Angelo Guzman, spokesman for the military’s Southern Luzon Command, said the combined military and police response units had not received reports of casualties from all provinces in the region.

The units helped to clear roads of storm debris, he said.

Apart from eight houses destroyed by a 3-meter storm surge in Dapdap and Mabuhay villages in Bulusan town, Sorsogon province, Guzman said the military recorded no other destruction of property in the province.

In Albay province, Gov. Joey Salceda sent home by 5 p.m. Sunday all the 124,976 families, or 579,603 people, who were evacuated on Saturday after disaster officials assured him that Ruby posed no more threat to the province.

But classes remained suspended throughout the province due to heavy rains.

Salceda gave assurance that power would be restored in the province on Monday. Power was cut in Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon and Catanduanes on Saturday as precautionary measure.

Central Luzon prepares

In Central Luzon, local governments and government agencies braced for Ruby’s arrival as Pagasa placed Pampanga, Bataan and Bulacan provinces under Public Storm Signal No. 1.

The regional disaster council placed search-and-rescue teams on alert and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) warned of possible landslides in Casiguran and Dingalan towns in Aurora province; Arayat town in Pampanga; and San Marcelino, San Felipe and Castillejos towns in Zambales province. Landslides have been occurring in these areas during strong typhoons since 2004.

Reports said the DSWD had prepared 30,000 food packs for potential evacuees.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) ordered its district offices to preposition heavy equipment to clear roads of storm debris. It reported monitoring landslide-prone areas in Nueva Ecija and Aurora provinces.

The Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the Central Luzon police ordered units to be ready to assist local governments in responding to emergencies.

In Angeles City, Pampanga, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said residents in 15 villages along Abacan River were advised to move out if rainfall reached 8 millimeters, which could erode the river’s banks and cause floods.

In the city of San Fernando, also in Pampanga, Mayor Edwin Pamintuan said all disaster-response personnel and equipment were ready.

The tail dike in the city was being watched for erosion. Strong rains breached the dike in 2011, flooding the city again after 16 years.—With reports from Marlon Ramos in Eastern Samar; Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon; Maricar Cinco, Ma. April Mier, Michael Jaucian, Shiena Barrameda, Juan Escandor Jr. and Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon; Jennifer Allegado, Joey A. Gabieta, Jani Arnaiz, Connie Fernandez, Nestor P. Burgos Jr. and Carmel Loise Matus, Inquirer Visayas; AP and AFP


FROM THE INQUIRER

Palace suspends classes, gov’t work in NCR, Regions 4-A, 4-B Aries Joseph Hegina
@inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 1:32 AM | Monday, December 8th, 2014


A resident rides a tricycle on their way to an evacuation center as strong winds and rains from Typhoon Hagupit hit Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Typhoon Hagupit knocked out power in entire coastal provinces, mowed down trees and sent more than 650,000 people into shelters before it weakened Sunday, sparing the central Philippines a repetition of unprecedented devastation by last year’s storm. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang suspended government work and classes in all levels in the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), and 4-B (Mimaropa) on Monday, December 8, due to heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).

“By authority of the President, classes at all levels and work in government offices have been suspended by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. for today, December 8, 2014, except for those agencies whose work involves the delivery of basic and health services, disaster response, and other vital public services,” said Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte early Monday morning.

Valte said that for employees in the private sector, the discretion to suspend work lies with their respective employers.

She added that although this may be the case, the Palace asks private companies to consider the welfare of their employees amid Ruby’s onslaught.

“We urge employers to consider the circumstances of their employees brought about by the effects of Typhoon Ruby,” Valte said.

According to the latest weather bulletin issued at 11 p.m. by Pagasa, Ruby packs maximum sustained winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 170 kph.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno also announced, through the official Twitter account of the Supreme Court Public Information Office, that there will be no work in courts in the said areas.

NCR has been placed under Signal No. 2 while Signal No. 3 was hoisted over some provinces in the Mimaropa and Calabarzon areas such as Marinduque, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, southern Quezon and Lubang Island.

Ruby is expected to make its third landfall in the vicinity of Northern Mindoro on Monday evening


FROM THE INQUIRER

‘Yolanda’ survivors find homes in ruins again Agence France-Presse 9:53 PM | Sunday, December 7th, 2014


A man is seen on top of his damaged house in Tacloban City on Sunday. AFP

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — A year after losing all their belongings to one of the world’s strongest storms, thousands of weary people in the Philippines emerged from evacuation shelters on Sunday to find their homes again in ruins.

Typhoon “Ruby” (international name Hagupit) hit the central Philippines late on Saturday with gusts of 210 kilometers an hour, destroying flimsy houses, tearing roofs off others, knocking down power poles and smashing bridges.

During a terrifying night, it cut across Tacloban City and dozens of other communities that were only just starting to recover from last year’s catastrophic Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan).

“We were on edge the entire night because the winds were so strong. We could see roofs flying,” 39-year-old peanut vendor and Yolanda survivor Vicente Roquero told AFP at an evacuation centre in Tacloban on Leyte island.

Yolanda’s monster winds and tsunami-like storm surges claimed more than 7,350 lives, and left more than one million people on central Philippine islands in need of new and safe homes.

Ruby, which was due to take three days to cut across the Philippines, did not generate the massive storm surges that claimed so many lives last year in the central Philippines.

Mass evacuations before it arrived also helped to ensure there was no repeat of the mass casualties in the areas devastated by Yolanda.

“There is a collective sigh of relief,” Jerry Yaokasin, vice mayor of Tacloban, a city of 220,000 people that was one of the worst-hit last year, told AFP

“The initial assessment is that there are no casualties. We were better prepared… up to 50,000 people were packed in evacuation centers.”

But many people — who have since Yolanda lived in tents, temporary shelters and shanty homes — again faced the trauma of losing their homes.

“The temporary houses destroyed by the typhoon is our big problem right now… our biggest challenge is how to provide for those who were displaced because of that,” Yaokasin said.

After losing her coastal shanty home to the storm surges of Yolanda, Maria Anna Alvarez, 34, had been barely surviving — living with a dozen other relatives on the outskirts of Tacloban in a tent provided by an aid agency.

She returned from an evacuation center on Sunday morning to see the tent, and those of 300 other families living nearby, destroyed.

“We were hoping for a merry Christmas… but it looks like that wish won’t come true,” Alvarez said.

“Nothing was left of our place, but we have no choice but to be resilient… the important thing is we’re alive.”

Tereso Sano, a 42-year-old unemployed driver, said he would start rebuilding the home nearby he shared with seven others as soon as the winds subsided.

“It’s a difficult feeling, knowing you don’t have a roof above your head,” Sano told AFP.


FROM THE INQUIRER (FEATURE STORY)

6 babies born shrieking as typhoon passes Cebu, 2 named Baby Ruby Carine Asutilla, Carmel Loise Matus | Inquirer Visayas 2:17 AM | Monday, December 8th, 2014


Ruby Marie slept in the arms of her 27-year-old mother Juvelyn Paghubasan, when Cebu Daily News visited their ward at the Daanbantayan District Hospital yesterday morning.
Doctors at the Daanbantayan District Hospital expect more mothers to give birth today. (CDN PHOTO/ TONEE DESPOJO)

DAANBANTAYAN, Cebu—The winds were roaring while Juvelyn Panghubasan was having labor pains.

But Panghubasan hardly thought about Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) that was threatening this northern town of Cebu province on Saturday. Her concern was to give birth to her baby safely.

And there was no stopping the baby.

Panghubasan gave birth to her first child at 6:10 p.m. while strong winds and rains were hammering the district hospital in Daanbantayan town, 130 kilometers north of Cebu City.

Panghubasan and her common-law husband, Eduvigio Luga, promptly named the baby girl Ruby Marie.

“She was born while Typhoon Ruby was about to hit Daanbantayan,” she told the Inquirer. “So we named her Ruby.”

Luga suggested that they give their first child a second name, Marie—after the Blessed Virgin Mary—because his wife was able to give birth safely despite the adverse weather.

Ruby Marie was one of six babies born at Daanbantayan District Hospital while residents of the town were bracing for the strongest typhoon to menace the country this year.

The first to give birth at Daanbantayan District Hospital was Airen Orbeta, who gave birth to a baby girl at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Then Honeybee Arsolon gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 3:20 p.m. A couple of hours later, at 5:47 p.m., Maritess Arranguez gave birth to a girl.

It wasn’t the end of births at the hospital.

Another Ruby

On Sunday, Devine Magale gave birth to a baby boy at 7:30 a.m. Then Bengelen Bolivar gave birth to a baby girl at 1:15 p.m.

Among them, only Panghubasan decided to name the baby after the typhoon. The rest have not made up their minds on what to name their babies.

Panghubasan said Ruby Marie was an appropriate name for her baby because, like the typhoon, Ruby Marie was strong—based at least on her loud shrieks.

“She always cries and is strong like Typhoon Ruby,” she said.

In Cebu City, another baby—also named Ruby by her parents—was born at the city-owned Cebu City Medical Center early Sunday.

Ruby Anne

Juliet Sanchez, 37, a typhoon evacuee from Barangay (village) Ermita, began having labor pains at 11 p.m. on Saturday while she was staying in at classroom at City Central School.

She was immediately taken to the medical center about 500 meters away. At 1:05 a.m. on Sunday, she gave birth to a girl—and she quickly named her Ruby Anne.

Sanchez’s common-law partner, Wilfredo Minorca, 39, a barangay tanod, was helping other evacuees staying in the school when he was told that Sanchez was having labor pains.

He dropped his work and carried Sanchez to a standby ambulance that sped her to the medical center.

Minorca said his wife was supposed to give birth two days ago but it was only at 11 p.m. on Saturday that she had labor pains.

Like Panghubasan and Luga, they decided to name their fourth child after the howler.

IMAGES OF CEBUANO PREPAREDNESS-CLICK HERE: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/47824/images-of-cebuano-preparedness


FROM CEBU DAILY NEWS

MORE FOOD NEEDED: Evacuation centers in Cebu running low on provisions as number of evacuees rises Doris C. Bongcac, Victor Anthony V. Silva | 12:00 AM | Monday, December 8th, 2014


Foreigners help unload sacks of rice from a truck at the repacking hub of Central Visayas at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City.

The worst may be over for Cebu but the challenge to feed over 10,000 displaced residents is beginning to hound officials.

Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) has yet to complete its crossing of the Visayas but evacuation centers especially those in northern Cebu are running low on food and water as the number of evacuees has increased overnight.

Gov. Hilario Davide III said some of the mayors yesterday expressed fear that the food supply in evacuation centers might not be enough.

“That is why I asked the PGSO (general services office) and the PSWDO (social welfare office) to work faster,” he told reporters.

Towns in Camotes and Bantayan islands were cut off from the provincial government’s relief assistance network due to the existing storm warning signal over Cebu which prohibits ferry crossings. “Once it is cleared, we will immediately deploy the goods to them,” Davide said.

Jone Siegfred Sepe, head of the Provincial General Services Office, said delivery of goods to the islands will commence once the Coast Guard gives the go signal to sail. He said that the Philippine Navy has committed to transport the relief goods. Relief goods and supplies for Bantayan Island were prepositioned at the Hagnaya Port in San Remigio town.

Meanwhile, Provincial Social Welfare Office head Rose Jao said they have adequate supply for every local government unit. She said the Capitol has prepositioned commodities in bulk at warehouses in Bogo City and Argao.

Jao said that LGUs from the north may get their relief supplies from Bogo City while those from the south may get theirs from Argao. As of yesterday, Medellin, Borbon, Liloan, Talisay City, San Remigio, and Compostela have claimed their relief supplies.

More than 128,000 individuals have been evacuated since yesterday morning. In Pilar, Camotes Island, at least 3,500 have been moved to safety.

Mayor Jesus Fernandez Jr. said their food supply will only last them until Tuesday.

Despite this, he said he is not worried. “We’ve already prepared for that even before the storm,” he said adding they have reserve stock at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Tudela.

Heide Aplece, Daanbantayan Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) head, said they were looking for ways to address the shortage.

Supply of rice and canned food were slowly depleted as Ruby continued to make its presence felt with its strong winds and heavy rains.

Aplece said they had asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayasto send in more relief packs.

As of 9:23 p.m. Saturday, the MSWDO records showed that 7,136 families were in 86 evacuation centers and 383 others stayed in other people’s homes.

Aplece said they asked for an additional 100 sacks from the National Food Authority (NFA).

Only about 5,000 relief packs were distributed as of Saturday evening.

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said he is sending a truck to Cebu City today to collect relief goods and other supplies from the Cebu provincial government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“So far, maka-sustain pa mi hangtod tonight. Ugma kinahanglan na mi mokuha ug back up gikan sa province ug sa DSWD. Ang among fall back is to buy from local suppliers (We can still sustain our needs until tonight but tomorrow, we need to get help from the provincial government and the DSWD. Our fall back is to buy provisions from local suppliers),” Corro told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview last night.

Corro said they only got 200 sacks of rice on Thursday to take care of the evacuees’ needs. Their buffer stock is nearly depleted.

The municipal government of Medellin also posted on their Facebook page that “we are running low on relief packs and water due to the early evacuation plus the very high number of evacuees.”

Medellin town accommodated 7, 891 evacuees coming from 19 barangays.

Bantayan mayor Ian Christopher Escario is also faced with the same problem.

Escario said food supply in their island municipality is beginning to dwindle because of their failure to stock up on more supplies. Ferry crossings were suspended since Thursday because of huge waves and residents are already complaining of low food supply.

Strong winds and rain shower were still felt in Bantayan island yesterday afternoon. Corro said strong winds and road obstructions which include fallen bamboo and banana trees and other debris prevented him from sending their truck to Cebu City late yesterday afternoon.

“Paninguhaon nato nga maka kuha ta ug additional food supply. Ang akong hangyo sa mga tawo, gamay lang nga sakripisyo (I’ll try my best to get additional food supply. I’m just appealing to the people to be patient) ,” he said.

Corro said officials of the island barangays of Malapascua and Carnasa have been calling him yesterday to ask for food.

The two barangays were unable to collect packed food from the municipal hall on Thursday as huge waves cut them off, he said.

He said residents of barangay Maya are also complaining of lack of potable water as their generator set which powers the community’s water filtration system conked out.

DSWD’s Soliman reminded local officials to immediately distribute the relief goods to their constituents affected by the typhoon.

The agency pointed out that food and rice supplies were pre-positioned even before the typhoon hit, so that local government units could repack the relief goods for easier distribution.

“We ask our local chief executives to distribute the relief goods quickly to their constituents who are now in evacuation centers because of the preemptive evacuation,” said Social Welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.

LGUs which have not yet received relief goods were ordered to immediately inform the DSWD.

“We have learned our lesson during typhoon Yolanda when distribution of food packs was delayed because these have to be repacked first before given to LGUs. Hence, we have already provided the relief goods for the LGUs to repack,” Soliman said.

The DSWD said they conducted an orientation on disaster response and management for employees who volunteered to be deployed in the typhoon-hit regions.

DSWD assistant secretary Vilma Cabrera oriented the employees on their roles and responsibilities upon deployment, reminding them that they must be physically and mentally fit, as well as their families.

“Disaster management aims to save lives and property, minimize costs of damage, organize work and action among players, and speed up reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas devastated by disasters,” she said.

The first batch of employees left on a C-130 plane on Sunday and will be deployed for at least 10 days.

The DSWD reported yesterday that they have delivered 10,000 food packs from the Cebu International Convention Center to Borongan, Eastern Samar, to augment the supplies of residents of storm-hit areas.

The supplies were airlifted via a C-130 military cargo plane that took off from the Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu./with reports from Michelle Joy L. Padayhag and Carinne M. Asutilla


FROM THE TRIBUNE

Gov’t-built shelters blown away like paper Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 08 December 2014 00:00

TYPHOON ALSO FLOODS PERMANENT HOMES FOR ‘YOLANDA’ VICTIMS

Sloppy government priorities and preparations amid typhoon “Ruby” which is cutting across the country had resulted in putting in harm’s way some of the victims of last year’s supertyphoon “Yolanda,” according to a group representing Yolanda survivors.

People Surge reported that bunk houses in Tacloban have been destroyed by the typhoon where people refused to leave despite the danger staying in the flimsy structures.

“Its residents were refused relief goods from DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) by their bunk house leader for not staying at these bunk houses during the storms,” People Surge said.

The bunk houses have become a source of controversy during the rehabilitation of the Yolanda-devastated areas after allegations of collusion between government officials and contractors in setting up overpriced temporary shelters.

A result of a Senate investigation proved unsubstantiated the allegations of overprice but it still found the structures substandard owing to the Aquino administration’s “lack of funds” despite the huge budget including a supplemental allocation from Congress for rehabilitation work.

The report of the public works panel chaired by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recommended that the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to pursue its investigation on the purported collusion on the overpriced the bunk houses.

“Should the facts and evidence warrant, the appropriate administrative, criminal and civil charges should be filed against the perpetrators,” the 15-page report said.

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (PARR) Secretary Panfilo Lacson broached the purported collusion, even claiming that some private contractors and “at least one politician” were behind reported irregularities in the construction of the bunkhouses.

The construction of the bunkhouses that were under the supervision of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which have common toilet and bath, a total floor area of 255.28 square meters was pegged at P959,345 each but the cost was later adjusted by removing the overhead margins, reducing the amount offered to private contractors for its construction to P836,000. Yet despite this adjustment, there were still problems on the availability of skilled workers in the area while many local contractors were engaged somewhere else and were not available for the needed task, the report said.

To remedy the situation, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had to bring in contractors from other regions to help out in completing the shelter projects.

The contractors however, were faced with the serious dilemma of finishing the temporary shelters for just 30 days in time for Christmas but the materials needed based on the specifications of the DPWH were not available at the time of the construction of the bunkhouses.

Floods have also affected a northern barangay in Tacloban, particularly in the Cabalawan area where the government built permanent shelters.

People Surge quoted local radio reports saying that five families in the permanent homes called for rescue during the height of the typhoon, but no one could respond to them amid the violent winds and rainfall.

Also in Tacloban, one of the cities worst-hit by Yolanda, palm-thatch temporary houses built by aid agencies for survivors of last year’s typhoon had been torn apart, vice mayor Jerry Yaokasin said.

However there was no repeat of the storm surges that did the most damage during Yolanda, known locally as Yolanda.
“There is a collective sigh of relief. The initial assessment is that there are no casualties. We were better prepared after Yolanda, up to 50,000 people were packed in evacuation centers,” Yaokasin said.

“But the transitional shelters made of nipa (palm thatch) were blown away. Our biggest challenge is how to provide for those who were displaced because of that,” he added.

Typhoon Ruby tore apart homes and sent waves crashing through coastal communities across the eastern part of the country creating more misery for millions following a barrage of deadly disasters.

The typhoon roared in from the Pacific Ocean and into remote fishing communities on Samar island on Saturday night with wind gusts of 210 kilometers an hour, local weather agency Pagasa said.

The wind strength at landfall made Ruby the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year, exceeding a typhoon in July that killed more than 100 people.

“Many houses, especially in the coastal areas, were blown away by strong winds,” Stephanie Uy-Tan, the mayor of Catbalogan City said Sunday morning.

“Trees and power lines were toppled, tin roofs were blown off and there is flooding,” she said.

Fearful of a repeat of last year when Yolanda claimed more than 7,350 lives, the government undertook a massive evacuation effort ahead of Ruby that saw millions of people seek shelter.

Hopes of avoiding a mass disaster were raised when Ruby’s maximum wind gusts dropped sharply to 170 kilometers an hour, with sustained winds of 140 kilometres an hour, on Sunday morning.

There were no confirmed casualties as of 4:00 pm, authorities in Manila said.

However Ruby was forecast to take three days to cut across the Philippines, passing over mostly poor central regions, and authorities were still preparing for worst-case scenarios.

The government warned of storm surges up to five metres (16 feet) high in some areas, flash flooding, landslides and winds strong enough to tear apart even sturdy homes.

In the capital Manila which has a population of 12 million, authorities cancelled classes for the start of the week amid forecasts of heavy rain across the city on Monday.

Tens of millions of others live in the typhoon’s path, including those in the central Philippines who are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Yolanda, which hit 13 months ago.

Yolanda was the strongest storm ever recorded on land, with winds of 315 kilometers an hour. It generated tsunami-like storm surges that ravaged entire towns.

In the eastern region of Bicol that was due to be hit throughout Sunday and Monday, hundreds of thousands were huddling in schools, churches and other official evacuation centers.

In Legaspi, a major city in Bicol, ocean sprays more than one-metre high crashed above the city’s seawall and fierce winds roared on Sunday morning, ahead of the main typhoon front.

“We’re terrified the water will rise up. This is the nearest safe place, so we came here,” Karen Baraham, an ice cream vendor who lives in a creekside slum, said as she sought shelter in a politician’s three-storey office.

The Philippines endures about 20 major storms a year which, along with regular earthquakes and volcano eruptions, make it one of the world’s most disaster-plagued countries.

The storms regularly claim many lives and are becoming more violent and unpredictable because of climate change, according to the United Nations and many scientists.

At global climate talks in Peru, Filipino activists said the frequency of typhoons had settled any debate in the Philippines about whether man-made global warming exists.

“In the hour of our peril, now is the time for politicians to back up their expressions of solidarity with real action at the UN climate talks,” said Jasper Inventor of Greenpeace. “It has become an issue of our survival.”

Yolanda was the world’s deadliest natural disaster last year.

In 2011 and 2012, there were consecutive December storms in the Philippines that together claimed more than 3,000 lives and were the world’s deadliest natural disasters of those years.


FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Fingers crossed: Latest storm not that deadly By AFP | Dec. 08, 2014 at 12:01am


LET’S GET OUT OF HERE, BABY. Relief workers raced against the clock to take people, including this baby, out of harm’s way in Legazpi City

Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) was on Sunday churning across the Philippines, the latest in a never-ending series of often-deadly storms that plague the Southeast Asian archipelago.

With more than 7,100 islands, the country is hit by an average of 20 typhoons or tropical storms each year.

The storms are created above the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean near the equator, and the Philippines’ islands are often the first major landmass they hit as they move northwest.

The following are the 10 deadliest typhoons on record in the Philippines.

1. Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the strongest storm ever recorded on land, destroys entire towns across the central Philippines on November 8, 2013. When the government stopped its count months later, more than 7,350 people were listed as dead or missing.

2. Tropical Storm Thelma unleashes flash floods on the central city of Ormoc on Leyte island on November 15, 1991, killing more than 5,100.

3. Typhoon Bopha smashes into the main southern island of Mindanao on December 3, 2012. Rarely hit by major storms, the unprepared region suffers about 1,900 people dead or missing.

4. Typhoon Ike hits the central Philippines on August 31, 1984, killing 1,363 people.

5. Typhoon Washi hits the northern part of Mindanao island on December 16, 2011, killing at least 1,080 people.

6. Floods and landslides unleashed by Typhoon Trix kill 995 people in the Bicol region of the main island of Luzon on October 16, 1952.

7. Typhoon Amy rakes across the central islands in December, 1951, with floods, landslides and a massive storm surge killing 991 people.

8. Typhoon Nina hits the eastern city of Legaspi on November 25, 1987, triggering giant storm surges and unleashing mudslides down Mayon volcano that claim 979 lives.

9. Typhoon Fengshen tracks an erratic and destructive path across the central islands and nearby areas from June 20, 2008, killing 938 people.

10. Typhoon Angela, with gusts of up to 260 kilometres an hour, causes carnage in Bicol and later Manila from November 2, 1995, killing 936 people.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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