MANILA -- Typhoon "Ruby" (International name "Hagupit") has gained strength as it continues to move towards Eastern Visayas.
In its 5 a.m. update on Friday, weather bureau PAGASA said that Ruby has also slightly slowed down and is moving west northwest at 13 kilometers per hour (kph) towards Eastern Visayas.
As it has slowed down, the typhoon is now expected to make landfall in the vicinity of Eastern Samar Saturday night or Sunday morning instead of Saturday afternoon, said PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja on DZMM.
Ruby was located at 485 kms east of Borongan, Eastern Samar as of 5 a.m.. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gusts of up to 250 kph.
It is forecast to be 230 kms east of Borongan, eastern Samar tomorrow morning; 85 kms southeast of Catarman, Northern Samar on Sunday morning; and in the vicinity of Romblon on Monday morning.
Public storm warning signals have been raised over 34 areas.
Public storm warning signal number 1 (winds of 30-60 kph expected in at least 36 hours) has been raised over the following areas, where PAGASA said that residents in low-lying and mountainous areas should be alerted against possible flash floods and landslides:
Rest of Cebu
Agusan del Sur
Public storm warning signal number 2 (winds of 61-100 kph expected in at least 24 hrs) has been raised over the following areas, which PAGASA said will experience occasional rains and gusty winds:
Surigao del Sur
Agusan del Norte
Surigao del Norte
Estimated rainfall amount is from 7.5-20 millimeters per hour, classified as "heavy to intense," within the 700 km diameter of typhoon Ruby.
PAGASA cautioned fishermen and those using small sea vessels against venturing out into the sea, as there will be rough to very rough sea conditions in the seaboard of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon, the seaboards of Visayas and over the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.
This is due to the combined effects of Ruby and the northeast monsoon.
Despite gaining strength, however, Ruby has not yet reached the strength of Yolanda, said Estareja.
"Ang naging lakas ni Yolanda, 235 kph at 275 kph gustiness," he said.
In addition, Ruby now has a lower chance of veering away from the country and not making landfall, as it is nearer the Philippine islands and is prevented from moving up by a high pressure system north of the country, Estareja said.
"Mas mababa na ang tsansa nitong (Ruby) mag-recurve. Nananatili pa rin ang high pressure system natin sa itaas."
A low pressure area east of Japan is also affecting the movement of Ruby.