4,000 residents in Ilocos Norte flee to evacuation centers
MANILA, Philippines – Around 4,000 individuals or more than 500 families are temporarily living in various evacuation centers in Ilocos Norte due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkut).
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos gave the figure in a press statement on Saturday, September 15, as her province remains under Signal No. 3.
“Mag-ingat po ang lahat lalo na ‘yung mga nasa coastal site. Alam kong mahal natin ang ating mga gamit at bahay, pero please kailangan unahin natin ang kaligtasan ng ating sarili,” said Marcos.
(Please keep safe, especially for those living in coastal sites. I know that your furniture and houses are dear to you, but please prioritize your safety.)
A video by Norman Jay Castro showed heavy rains and howling winds battering Bacarra town at 6:06 am on Saturday.
Marcos already ordered the preemptive evacuation of residents to various barangay halls, churches, and schools as early as Thursday, September 13. (READ: Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?)
Most of the evacuees in Ilocos Norte were senior citizens, differently abled residents, hospital patients, pregnant and nursing mothers, and children. (READ: 126,700 Filipinos affected hours after Ompong landfall)
The governor has previously ordered the pre-positioning of food stocks and relief goods that could last for 4 days, which can be distributed immediately to those in need. Work and classes remain suspended in Ilocos Norte.
Ompong had made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 1:40 am on Saturday then moved toward Ilocos Norte, sweeping away the roof of the Cagayan provincial capitol and damaging the Tuguegarao Airport in the process.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier estimated that at least 5.2 million people are in the path of the typhoon.
Thousands of people had evacuated ahead of Ompong's landfall, with more than 126,751 individuals affected across 5 regions in the Philippines so far.
Ilocos Norte remains at risk of storm surges up to 6 meters high, while Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan could see storm surges up to two meters. – Rappler.com