One million people were evacuated Saturday as powerful typhoon Hagupit roared into the eastern Philippines.
Trees crashed in the pouring rain and whipping wind, bringing down power lines and ripping the tin roofs off small homes as the storm made landfall.
Most of the central island of Samar and nearby Leyte province, including Tacloban City, lost power.
But officials and coordinators of first responders were cheerful as they spoke to reporters, saying they had things “under control.”
So far, there has been no report of any casualties, in fact, despite winds of up to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) near the center and packing gusts of up to 130 mph (210 kph).
Hagupit, which means “lash” in Filipino, is being called “Ruby” by local forecasters and government officials.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas urged citizens over government radio to leave their homes in order to stay safe. “Ruby’s lashing will be severe,” he said. “Let’s be alert. Let’s evacuate to prevent any harm to your families.”
Approximately 100 domestic flights were canceled in the interest of safety.
But the typhoon was not expected to reach the capital, Manila, forecasters said.
Last year, typhoon Yolanda caused tremendous damage to the city of Ormoc, which has a large number of fishermen. The powerful typhoon destroyed their boats, and many were left without the means to support their families.
IsraAID in partnership with Philos provided the fishermen 11 motorized boats which enabled them to reach deep water, where better quality fish can be found, and then sold on the market.
Such fish also find their way to the kosher markets in Israel.