Cavite evacuee: We do this every time
CAVITE, Philippines - The temperature is humid, families lie next to each other and the sound of the generator makes it impossible for anyone to sleep.
This was the state of evacuees in the municipal hall of Rosario, Cavite. This is also where 27-year old Deaville Patata of Barangay Wawa 3 will spend the night with her 3-month old son.
Like most of the evacuees in the hall, this is not the first time that Patata and her family had to evacuate. Every time the tides rise or a typhoon strikes, they leave their home.
“Tuwing bagyo, ganito po lagi kalalagayan namin. Lagi kaming nag-e-evacuate...gawa po ng mataas yung tubig sa aming barangay,” she said. (Every time there’s a typhoon, we are always in this situation. We always evacuate because water levels always rise in our community.)
The worst typhoon she experienced was in 2006 when Typhoon Milenyo devastated the town.
“Matindi po yung bagyong Milenyo. Iyong karanasan namin na wala talagang natira sa amin. Wash out talaga lahat. Nawasak po yung tulay namin. Bigla po kasing tumaas din ang tubig,” she said.
(Typhoon Milenyo was the worst that hit us. We had nothing left. Everything was literally washed away. Our bridge collapsed because of the sudden rise of the water levels.)
Way of life?
Patata said she grew up thinking evacuating and recovering from floods was just a part of living in her neighborhood.
“Kahapon ng umaga din nag-evacuate kami. Bumalik lang kami ng hapon tapos evacuate ulit kami kaninang mga gabi. Sinundo na kami ng mga pulis para dito na tumira ulit,” Patata said.
(Yesterday morning, we also evacuated. We returned home that afternoon but we evacuated again that night. We were fetched by the police to live here in the mean time.)
She said that it’s also standard procedure that her husband gets left in their home while she and her 2 children relocate to evacuation centers.
“Yung asawa ko po ang nagbabantay sa bahay namin. Kahit inabot na po ng tubig, nandoon pa rin po asawa ko. Hindi sumasama dahil may mga binabantayan pong gamit,” she said.
(My husband guards our house. Even if floods reach our house, he’ll still stay there. He looks after our things that’s why he doesn’t evacuate.)
Damage from Maring
Because of the heavy rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Maring, more than 300 families from 8 barangays had to be evacuated in Rosario, Cavite.
Col Medardo Clarito of the 552nd engineering construction battalion, who responded in Rosario, said the damage in the municipality is widespread.
“The damage is mostly in the infrastructure. A lot of property were destroyed by the flooding,” Clarito said in Filipino.
The communities affected were Mizon 1 and 2, Tejeros Convention, Sapa 2 and 3, and Wawa 1, 2 and 3. In Muzon 1 alone, 104 families were already affected.
But Patata is not too worried--even for her 3 month-old son. Like in past typhoons, she’s confident that they’ll survive Maring.
“Hindi kami naging handa noon pero ngayon naghanda na po kami,” she said. (We were not ready before but now we are.)
She added that she’s used to the situation in the evacuation center.
“Ok naman po basta safe lang po kame. Kaysa nandoon po kame maaabutan kami ng tubig,” she said. (We’re okay here because at least we’re safe. If we’re out there, we’ll just be flooded.)
She, however, hoped that she can already get back to her home and return to their normal lives -- until the next storm, that is.
“Sa Huwebes daw po titigil na ang ganitong sitwasyon. Sana nga sa Huwebes maka-uwi na kami sa bahay namin...Sana matagal pa susunod na bagyo,” she concluded.
(By Thursday, authorities said the rains will stop. Hopefully, by Thursday we can go back home. Hopefully, the next typhoon will not come soon.) -Rappler.com
Want to help the victims of Tropical Storm Maring in Cavite and in other areas, here's how you can help. You can also tweet to ask for ways to help using the hashtag #ReliefPH and #MovePH.