Some La Union coastal dwellers stay put as Lawin hits
LA UNION, Philippines – Some residents of coastal communities in La Union did not evacuate despite the heavy rain and strong winds brought by Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima).
Lawin has since been downgraded into a typhoon, but remains strong.
Civic group leader Dexter Estigoy said there were locals in Barangay Taberna who went to fish at 8 pm on Wednesday, October 19, despite being warned in advance that there could be storm surges. The fishermen returned safely at 11 pm before the strong rain and winds peaked.
Norberto Herado, whose house lies before the West Philippine Sea, chose to stay inside their home because no one would be able to guard it.
Local authorities ordered their evacuation at 5 pm on Wednesday, 6 hours before Lawin made landfall in the province of Cagayan.
"Nung lumakas na ng alas dose pasado ng madaling araw, [umalis] na ang iba. Nananatili [kami], lipat na kami ng bahay, sa harap kasi namin may malaking bahay, lumipat na kami doon," he said.
(When the [typhoon] hit harder after midnight, some of our neighbors evacuated. We stayed in our area, we just moved to a larger house beside ours.)
Herado added that they had second thoughts about staying when local authorities announced there would be a storm surge, but they opted to stay and just monitor the situation.
According to the La Union Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), some residents of coastal barangays in San Fernando also remained in their homes.
Strong rain and powerful winds swept through La Union for roughly 8 hours as Lawin made landfall in Cagayan at 11 pm, Wednesday.
As of 6 am on Thursday, the PDRRMO said more than 1,600 families evacuated but there are no reports of casualties. – Rappler.com