The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Association (PAGASA) reports that Typhoon Ruby has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is now on its way out of the Philippines.
Thank you, God!
According to Yahoo! News, at least 21 people were killed by the storm, but the good news is it caused far less damage than everyone feared. In fact, the people who were taken to evacuation areas are already being sent home as of this writing.
Video via GMA News and Public Affairs
Of course, we still have floods, landslides, casualties, structural damages, and traffic to worry about, but what's important is that Ruby sort of spared us big time. As far as wind intensity is concerned, we can now say that the worst is over. Again, thank you, God.
Some of you may be wondering though: Wasn't Typhoon Ruby supposed to be Typhoon Yolanda 2.0? How and why did it turn into a mere tropical storm? We couldn't be more thankful that this thing has slowed down; it's just that we could use some enlightenment.
According to GMA's resident meteorologist Nathaniel Cruz, it has everything to do with the interferance of Hanging Amihan. "Malaki ang nagawa ng Northeast wind flow sa paghina ng bagyo," he reports. "Kasama na ang sunod-sunod na pagtawid nito sa kalupaan, mula Samar hanggang sa Masbate at Marinduque."
"Pero ang pinakamahalaga, sumabay ang lakas ng Hanging Amihan habang tumatawid ang bagyo. At walang halos tuyong hangin ang dahilan kaya humina ito [by the time] na nakarating ito sa Metro Manila. Malaking bagay ang paglakas ng Hanging Amihan."
So two things:
1) The favorable wind path of Hanging Amihan (also known as the Northeast Monsoon) is dragging Ruby out of the country
2) The super typhoon's intense land falls in Eastern Samar, Marinduque, Batangas, and Occidental Mindoro the past two days have weakened it