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Ruby Weakens into a Tropical Depression; Death Toll Rises to 27, Affected Families Breaches 1-M Mark

Typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit) has weakened into a tropical depression as it headed toward Lubang Island in Occidental Mindoro and made its fifth landfall, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tuesday morning.

In its 5 a.m weather bulletin, the weather bureau said Ruby was packing maximum sustained winds of up to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, with gusts of up to 80 kph.

It is traveling westward at 13 kph and is expected to be 375 km west of Ambulong, Tanauan City, Batangas or at 385 km west of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro Tuesday afternoon.

With its current pace, PAGASA predicted it should exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Wednesday evening.

Public storm Signal Number 1 is still up over Metro Manila, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Lubang Island.

PAGASA said rain and gusty winds will hit Metro Manila, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Mindoro including Lubang Island. Coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Meanwhile, in its latest report, the Philippine Red Cross said Ruby’s death toll is now at 27.

“We now have a total of 27 dead, most of them in Borongan, Eastern Samar,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. Gordon said most of the dead drowned in floodwaters.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), on its part, reported that as of Monday, the number of affected families have breached the 1-million mark.

The agency said some 232,948 families or 1,074,080 persons were affected in Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), 5 (Bicol Region, 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas) and Caraga.Of these, some 230,569 families or 1,066,141 people were currently being served inside and outside evacuation centers.