The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has made an official announcement that several areas in the city “no man’s land” as it prepares for Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit).
A wide swath of the Philippines, including the capital Manila, braced Friday for a dangerously erratic and incredible typhoon approaching from the Pacific, about a year after the country was devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) that left more than 7,300 people dead.
Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit, Filipino word for lash) strengthened overnight with its sustained winds intensifying to 215 kilometers (134 miles) per hour and gusts of 250 kph (155 mph). The local weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s forecasts show the typhoon may hit Eastern Samar province late Saturday or early Sunday.
But a forecast by the US military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii said Ruby may veer northward after making landfall and possibly threaten Manila, which has population of more than 12 million people.
This includes coastal areas composed of eight to 10 barangays as well as Roxas Boulevard and España.
This means that on Sunday, people are forbidden to stay in those areas in order to ensure the safety of the public, as Ruby threatens to generate storm surges and flooding.
Roxas Boulevard and the España area were also declared off-limits to avoid a repeat of the electrocution incident near University of Santo Tomas last September. Residents are compelled to evacuate but encouraged to stay indoors in safe buildings.
According to MDRRMO Director Johnny Yu, more than 100,000 residents must be evacuated in case the situation gets worse.
The Manila Police Department is in charge of implementing the “no man’s land” order and could arrest people caught loitering in the areas.
In a meeting on Friday morning, the MDRRMO said it is considering using churches and universities in Intramuros as possible evacuation centers.