Monday, December 8, 2014

Goodbye, Ruby: Tuesday on Corregidor

Typhoon Ruby (Int'l name Hagupit) hit the Samar/Leyte area beginning on Saturday, Dec. 6.  It was a very strong storm, but did less damage in the areas worst affected by last year’s Yolanda.  Ruby was a somewhat weaker storm, it hit north of the major city of Tacloban rather than targeting it directly, and most importantly, everyone took preparations much more seriously, having learned the hard way thirteen months ago.
Last Friday we sent an email with a map from PAGASA showing the projected path right over Corregidor Island.  From that time on, the projections slowly moved Ruby’s path southward, and you can see from the photo below that Corregidor and Manila were spared the brunt of the storm, which had also weakened considerably since its initial Philippine landfall on Saturday.
Here on Corregidor, the weekend weather was normal for this time of year, with moderate temperatures accompanied by occasional wind gusts, aside from the decision by Sun Cruises to cancel their Sunday trip.  We took a walk on Sunday afternoon, and another early Monday morning, which is when we started to feel that stormy weather might actually be headed our way.  “Storm signals,” which indicate high winds and choppy to violent seas, had finally been posted for our location in Manila Bay.  Monday morning was gloomy, and, as on Sunday, Sun Cruises did not bring tourists to the island.
This has easily been the driest and hottest September through early December that we’ve experienced since our move here in October, 2008.  There were times this October when it felt as hot as April.  The only appreciable rain we’ve had since early October was a brief, heavy rain last Thursday night, which – at the time – we associated with the typhoon, only later realizing that it was probably unrelated.
Around 11 AM Monday it started to really feel like rain, and it fell very gently for a few minutes at a time all afternoon.  Still not the rain we expected, but finally rain from the outer bands of the storm.  A heavy rain would do us good, putting much-needed fresh water into Corregidor’s aquifer system, and helping to guarantee an adequate supply throughout the months until next rainy season.
Now, Tuesday morning, the eye of the storm is past us and we are in Ruby’s trailing outer bands.  The bats were active before dawn, the birds are now beginning to chatter, and we’ve heard a bit of ‘monkey business’ too.  It rained off and on overnight, and is continuing that pattern so far this morning. There are still some wind gusts, too, but we expect to find little to no damage on the island – very good news, indeed.
Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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