Philippine Residents Glad They Evacuated

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Philippine residents were glad that they evacuated their homes in search of safer housing until Typhoon Hagupit passes. According to residents, after last year’s Typhoon Haiyan they were not willing to take any chances and sought higher grounds in order to secure the safety of, both their lives and the lives of their families and loved ones. This year’s typhoon has claimed the lives of three individuals so far, a one year old baby, an unnamed victim, and an elderly gentleman.

According to residents of the Philippines, after last year’s devastation brought forth by Typhoon Haiyan, they wanted to be sure that they could do everything possible to see to it that more lives were spared in this year’s Typhoon. This would mean seeking refuge in emergency shelters and waiting out the storm. One resident, Rhea Estuna, stated that when she looked out the doors of the emergency shelter, she saw a much different sight than she had the year before with Typhoon Haiyan. She stated that when she looked out the door of the shelter the prior year, the road was riddled with debris and dead bodies were strewn about. This year the sight was much better, although she still expressed relief for not taking any chances with her life or the life of her one year old daughter while Typhoon Hagupit continues to touch ground.

Many Philippine residents agreed with Estuna, stating that they were glad that they took precautions and evacuated their homes.By early Friday morning, it was reported by Gwendolyn Pang, the secretary-general of the Red Cross that nearly a million and a half people had been evacuated from their homes in the Philippines. According to the nation’s government, 560,000 of those individuals were evacuated in Albay Province before the storm touched down. There were more than a thousand emergency shelters nationwide waiting to take in residents and the government had 120,000 soldiers in waiting to respond to crisis in the event of any emergencies that could arise from the storm.

Hagupit reached the Philippines late Saturday night. So far, it has reached winds up to 87 miles an hour and gusts of 106 miles per hour. The storm continues to weaken as times go on; however, officials are not yet ready to declare protection against the storm a complete success. With heavy rain still continuing to pour down on the nation, the typhoon still poses a major threat to the residents of the Philippines. The heavy rain can lead to flooding and mudslides, claim local officials, and this could mean major problems for the people of our nation.

In 2006, heavy rain had contributed to major flooding and mudslides that would take the lives of approximately 1,000 individuals. This event remains fresh in the minds of people who were there to witness it, causing the people to refrain from calling the protection against Typhoon Hagupit a victory as of just yet.

Philippine residents continue to wait out the storm in the emergency shelters nationwide. The storm is said to pass by Wednesday, and, until then, residents are still maintaining their claims that they are glad that they evacuated their homes in search of safer refuge.

By Kelli Patterson

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Photo courtesy of Bar Fabella- Flickr License

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