Yolanda lessons save lives

By , on December 8, 2014


Pres. Benigno Aquino III and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas inspect Tacloban Airport after Supertyphoon 'Yolanda' (International name 'Haiyan') Photo courtesy of the Malacanang Photo Bureau
Pres. Benigno Aquino III and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas inspect Tacloban Airport after Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ (International name ‘Haiyan’) Photo courtesy of the Malacanang Photo Bureau

MANILA – From its former “ground zero” brand because of a third of more than 6,000 casualties recorded during the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban City redeemed itself with “zero casualty” reported as Typhoon “Ruby” (Hagupit) released its fury on Saturday night.

Families immediately evacuated to the 88 evacuation centers following the warnings from government agencies.

“I think the people learned their Yolanda lesson,” Gloria Fabregas, Social Welfare Officer said.

She added that a total of 11,121 families comprising some 53,685 people stayed in the evacuation centers designated by city government.

Some even stayed in churches and mausoleums at the Chinese cemetery.

Unlike last year, there were no reported looting, except for a complaint by the Tacloban Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Go Tic Ching who complained that the cemetery along Bliss Sagkahan district was looted.

The incident, where tables, chairs and candles were allegedly taken from the mausoleums prompted authorities to send policeman in the area.

But just like last year, congestion problems in the evacuation area were still experienced by the evacuees.

Fabragas noted that some evacuees were even turned away because of the large number of people being accommodated in a single area.

The case of the evacuation center in the Eastern Visayas State University was cited by Fabregas adding that the 900 families were only allowed inside and the rest were sent to other centers.

Despite these problems, Maria Lagman, head of the housing and urban planning office described the preventive steps taken by the government this year as “successful.”

“Businesses will open tomorrow and we achieved our goal of zero casualty,” she said on Sunday.