Ormoc city residents begin to withdraw money as early as Wednesday afternoon from their bank's automated teller machines in anticipation of power blackouts that will prevent them from gaining access to needed disaster funds.

Ormoc News – Anxiety and gloom envelopes Leyte as Super Typhoon ‘Ruby’ approaches

ORMOC NEWS – With various international weather forecasting services not agreeing with the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s own predictions as to where exactly super typhoon ‘Ruby’ (Hagupit) will make a landfall in the next critical days, citizens of this coastal city along with other areas in Leyte are busy preparing for a “worst case” scenario.

Packing an estimated strength of 205 kph near its centre and a gustiness of up to 240 kph, the category 4 Cyclone from the Pacific is slowly moving at 15 kph West Northwest heading to Eastern Visayas. Signal No. 2 is now hoisted over the region.

Rhoda Jomauas, a single mother, said she and her three children will not take any chances this time and will temporarily seek shelter in the house of a friend at Bonifacio Street in downtown Ormoc. “We almost lost our lives to super typhoon Yolanda when the house we evacuated to at Barangay Linao collapsed”, she said, adding that they lost their seaside home and everything in it at Barangay Punta when Yolanda came.

“My children are scared, I am also afraid for their safety. We have been occupying only what remained of the small shed where we were keeping our pig once since the disaster last year, it will not be able to protect us from this incoming strong typhoon”, Jomauas said. They decided to move to safer grounds today.

Ormoc News, Eastern Visayas News, Typhoon Hagupit, Typhoon Ruby
Ormoc mayor Edward Codilla met with the city’s disaster council to check on the LGU’s preparations for super typhoon ‘Ruby’

With most of the people around Ormoc anxiously making preparations and ensuring their own sufficient supplies of food, water, medicines, batteries, kerosene and fuel, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council here met at the City Hall today to discuss emergency, risk reduction, and disaster measures. The Focus of preparations is emergency response, evacuation, medical services, food, peace and security.

Families from Tacloban city and from nearby towns started evacuating to Ormoc yesterday and are now occupying the city’s hotels and inns. All the hotels here are now fully booked. Private businesses are also hurriedly preparing their establishments for the coming expected onslaught of strong winds.

In Baybay City, Mahaplag Leyte, and Maasin City the same preparations are being performed with most of the people trying to seek early refuge in safer areas for their families against possible storm surges, landslides, flash floods and other types of destruction that are expected to occur as this new super typhoon delivers its torrential rains and heavy winds to this beleaguered region in Central Philippines starting Saturday.

Ormoc News, Eastern Visayas News, Typhoon Hagupit, Typhoon Ruby
Unlike the reported panic buying widely occurring in Tacloban City, apprehensive but relatively calm residents in Ormoc and nearby Western Leyte towns sought emergency food supplies at the city’s various supermarkets and grocery stores