Village hit hardest by Haiyan evacuates ahead of #RubyPH
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – As early as Thursday night, December 4, many streets in Barangay 88 in Tacloban City were already dark and deserted.
About half of the residents here have evacuated ahead of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) after Mayor Alfred Romualdez ordered mandatory evacuation in areas vulnerable to storm surges, barangay captain Emie Montalban said.
Typhoon Ruby is expected to produce storm surges of 3 to 4 meters in Eastern Visayas. A Friday morning weather bureau report said it is forecast to be 230 km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar by Saturday morning, December 6, and will move closer to Northern Samar by Sunday morning, December 7. (READ: How to know if a storm surge threatens your area)
In a meeting with village captains on December 3, Romualdez declared that those who refuse to evacuate will face arrest, Montalban said.
“Bibitbitin talaga (They will be carried out of the village forcibly),” Montalban said.
Don't risk lives of loved ones
Barangay 88 was the hardest hit village in Tacloban City when Yolanda battered Eastern Visayas a year ago. Crashing waves from both sides of the coastal village left hundreds of bodies strewn all over the streets. (VIDEO: The men of village 88)
The tragedy is still fresh in the mind of Jun Calles, who luckily survived the Yolanda storm surge with his family.
Calles is not risking the lives of his wife and 3 children this time around. Together with his family and their pet dog "Puchi," Calles left the village for a safer place on Thursday night, way before Super Typhoon Ruby’s expected Samar landfall.
Hundreds of others went to evacuation centers designated for the village: the Leyte Normal University (LNU), Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), and the Yolanda relocation site north of Tacloban.
The remaining 61 families living in Yolanda tents have also been evacuated to schools in New Kawayan in Tacloban City.
“Nagku-cooperate na. Yung iba, di na tulad ng dati na nagdadalawang isip pang mag-evacuate,” Montalban said as she shared her observation on the marked change in the attitude of her constituents. (They are now cooperating. The others, unlike before, no longer hesitate to evacuate.)
Many lined the streets with their belongings and food supplies hours before the scheduled arrival of vehicles that transported them to evacuation centers. Others commuted or rented cars, Montalban said.
Don't underestimate the storm
But there are some who still refuse to leave the village, like Julie Tuazon, whose house is a few meters away from the shore. Tuazon said she and her family still feel safe in their home because it was not reached by the storm surge of the biggest typhoon that hit the country in 2013.
Montalban urged them to follow authorities and learn from the lessons of the Yolanda catastrophe. (READ: The stench of death in Tacloban)
“Mas maganda na pumunta sila sa mga safe na lugar. Huwag i-underestimate ang lakas ng bagyo (Super Typhoon Ruby),” Montalban stressed.
(It’s better to seek refuge in safer areas. Don’t underestimate the strength of Super Typhoon Ruby.
Local authorities will enforce mandatory evacuation in vulnerable areas until Friday night, December 5. – Rappler.com