Philippines braces for Typhoon Hagupit

By Madison Park, CNN
updated 7:57 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: One city expects to evacuate 75,000 ahead of storm
  • Typhoon Hagupit downgraded, but residents still warned storm could be deadly
  • Hagupit is expected to make landfall Saturday night
  • Forecasts predict it will skirt north Tacloban, devastated last year by Haiyan

(CNN) — Still scarred by last year’s devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan, residents of the Philippines rushed Friday to stock up supplies and take cover ahead of another potentially catastrophic storm.

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, is expected to make landfall Saturday evening, according to PAGASA, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

It is approaching the Philippines from the western Pacific Ocean and is projected to make landfall on the Eastern Samar or Northern Samar province. The storm is expected to skirt north of the city of Tacloban, which was devastated by Haiyan last year.

Officials in the coastal city of Legazpi expect to evacuate an estimated 75,000 people ahead of Typhoon Hagupit, Mayor Noel Rosal told CNN on Friday.

“There’s a danger that there will be heavy rains for about four hours and I am very, very worried at this moment,” Rosal said.

Typhoon Hagupit Typhoon Hagupit

INTERACTIVE: See the latest satellite and path of the storm

Although the storm was downgraded from a super typhoon to a typhoon on Friday morning, it is still packing potentially devastating sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (133 miles per hour) with gusts that could reach up to 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour).

Most forecasters predict the storm will move northwest through the island nation after landfall, passing south of the capital city of Manila. PAGASA projects that the storm will exit the country on Wednesday.

Hagupit, the name used by World Meteorological Organization, means “lash” in Filipino.

How Tacloban is coping

Fears over effects of the storm

With the storm fast approaching, authorities are not only worried about the typhoon itself, but the effects of the fierce winds, possible flooding and storm surge.

PAGASA warned of intense rainfall, warning of rainfall between 7.5 and 20 millimeters per hour and rough seas. It also warned of storm surge that could reach up to 5 meters (16 feet) high.

Last year, Haiyan’s massive storm surge caught many people off guard as it roared in off the Gulf of Leyte, splintering buildings and tossing large ships onto dry land.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez said they’re better prepared this year, having learned the lessons of Haiyan a year ago. Residents are taking the storm warnings very seriously and most people have fled the city, he told CNN.

The ferocious storm obliterated homes, smashed entire neighborhoods into tangled heaps of debris. More than 6,000 people were killed last year