Manila, Philippines — The Filipinos residing in the central Philippines fled coastal areas and triggered panic-buying in grocery stores and gas refilling stations as a fast-approaching Super Typhoon Hagupit with a local codenamed ‘Ruby’ brought back traumatic nightmares of last year’s deadly onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Bagyong Yolanda.
Typhoon Hagupit has already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on early of Thursday, December 4th, with maximum sustained winds of 127mph and gusts of up to 149 mph over the Pacific region, about 435 miles off the country’s eastern coast. Weather forecasts show it may hit Eastern Samar province some time on Saturday, December 6th. Super Typhoon Hagupit poses a major risk and life-threatening danger to the Philippines — including the same areas of Leyte and Eastern Samar that were devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan 13 months ago, and left around 7,300 dead and missing in November last year.
“We probably won’t know until tomorrow, Philippine time, what will be an accurate path for the storm. Those staff and all of our equipment that’s been used for our recovery effort so far … if a typhoon does hit those areas we will reallocate our resources to respond.”
The Super Typhoon Haiyan survivor Emily Sagales said many of her needy neighbors in central Tacloban city, which was heavily ravaged by the recetly mentioned powerful storm, packed their clothes and fled to a sports stadium which serves as an evacuation center and safer homes of relatives. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Sagales, another survivor from the last year’s deadly storm said, “the trauma has returned,.” In the wake of last year’s super typhoon, which killed her mother-in-law and washed away her home, she gave birth to her first child, a girl, in a crowded makeshift clinic filled with the injured and the dying near the Tacloban airport.
Meanwhile, the official website and server of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) has been down for several hours. The website appeared to have been down since 11 A.M. on Thursday, December 4th, and as of As of 3 A.M. of the following day, on Friday, the website has yet to be accessed. However, PAGASA offered an alternate websites to monitor the Typhoon Hagupit, it also providing its official Facebook and Twitter accounts that had updates regarding the typhoon.