Bantayanons more self-resilient after Yolanda lessons

Some residents in the municipality of Bantayan tied their roofs to a tree so that these will not be carried away by strong winds.

Sillon Barangay Captain Vivian Batayola said they made the preparation a day before the typhoon hit the island last December 6.

Naa man gud uban nga balay nga gipatukod sa mga non-government organization (NGO). Mao na nga ila jud na nga gi ampingan (Some of these house were built by the NGOs and they really took care of it),” Batayola said.

Most of the residents became homeless as Yolanda battered their properties and blown away their roofing materials last year.

As the weather bureau expects another storm to hit the country, Batayola said the residents will be advised to keep their roofs grounded.

Sillon is a coastal barangay, which is also vulnerable to storm surge.

Unlike before, she added, people were reluctant to evacuate from their houses. This time they voluntarily sought refuge in safer grounds.

In Bantayan, two people died because of illness during the evacuation. Virginia Solitario 44, of Barangay Punta died of congestive heart failure in the evacuation site in Sulangan elementary school while Leonisa dela Fuente 53, of Brgy. Batong Suba succumbed to hypertension in Bantayan District Hospital.

The towns of Santa Fe and Madridejos reported no casualties so far.

Mayors Jose Esgana (Santa Fe) and Salvador dela Fuente (Madridejos) said that typhoon Ruby was not as strong as Yolanda but early evacuation was crucial to the preparation.

Santa Fe had around 2000 families evacuated from their houses to schools. Madridejos had 2,728 families, and Bantayan evacuated 22, 730 families.

Mayor Ian Christopher Escario said all their evacuees already went home. However they need more food packs to support the evacuees for three more days.

Wala na sila kapanginabuhi sa lima ka adlaw. Pag-uli nila sa ila balay wala sila kwarta ug wala na sila’y mapalit diri (They don’t have livelihood for five days. And when they went home they have no money. They have nothing to buy here as well),” he said.

The Cebu Provincial Government sent out three truckloads of relief goods to Bantayan Island, each town receiving one truck.

Each truck contains 150 sacks of rice with 15 packs per sack; 150 sacks of noodles and canned goods with 20 packs per sack; and 50 boxes of mineral water with 12 1-liter bottles per box.

Madridejos disaster risk reduction and management officer Doroteo Doremon said fisherfolk cannot go back fishing yet because they have to reattach the outriggers or katigs of their boats. The outriggers were removed before typhoon Ruby hit so fishermen can easily carry their boats to safer grounds.