‘Yolanda’ kept ‘Lawin’ toll low

TOPSY TURVY A sausage stall lies upside down after Supertyphoon “Lawin” tore through Tuguegarao City with winds exceeding 200 kph. —RICHARD REYES

TOPSY TURVY A sausage stall lies upside down after Supertyphoon “Lawin” tore through Tuguegarao City with winds exceeding 200 kph. —RICHARD REYES

DINGRAS, ILOCOS NORTE—This town’s residents on Thursday survived the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Lawin” (international name: Haima), and that’s because they listened and learned from the stories of Tacloban City and Leyte province when these communities were flattened by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) in 2013.

Most people in Ilocos Norte province heeded warnings, evacuating when told, because images of Yolanda’s wrath are still etched in their minds, said Dingras Mayor Erdio Valenzuela.

Most residents in north Luzon have no experience with typhoons of Yolanda’s magnitude and acted to protect their families.

“This was Yolanda minus the storm surge. [Lawin] was something new to all of us [in Cagayan Valley], something we can learn from,” said Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba.

Lawin’s 225 kph wind toppled electric posts, uprooted trees and destroyed houses, many already empty after local governments instituted forced evacuations.


Before Lawin entered north Luzon, students were no longer in schools after local officials suspended classes as early as Oct. 18 even though it was sunny that day.

Farmers were also advised to harvest their crops early.

In Ilocos Norte, local governments helped haul and dry freshly harvested palay and vegetables using combined harvesters and modern drying facilities, particularly in the towns of Bacarra and Piddig.

“We are lucky. This time everybody came prepared,” said Valenzuela, even though there were holdouts in low-lying areas who had to be convinced that moving to barangay halls and schools serving as evacuation centers was the right decision.

The mayor said all that authorities had to do was cite the tragedy that befell Eastern Visayas when Yolanda struck. In Tacloban alone, more than 2,000 people died when Yolanda hit.

While fear may have frayed nerves, it also helped many people survive Lawin in Isabela province.

Jun Macapallag, 40, of Delfin Albano town, said he and his wife stayed in the toilet for eight hours, after howling winds tore off the roof of their house in Barangay Ragan Sur.

He said it was the scariest typhoon he had experienced. His children stayed with his parents in the neighboring house, which also lost its roof.

“I never feared rains, thunderclaps and storms until I encountered Lawin,” said Candy Soberano, a wife and mother of two in Laoag City.

Surrender to God

“Typhoon Signal No. 5 was no joke. Hearing the howling winds made me tear up. I was imagining Yolanda. I saw how it damaged Samar. I would never forget the dates Oct. 19 and 20, when my faith was tested and I surrendered my family’s fate to God,” she said.

Young Ilocanos volunteered to stay and send advisories and typhoon updates online and through social media networking sites to keep people informed, before power lines and communication signals shut down.

Nothing beats human tenacity to survive. In Baguio City, rescue workers were surprised to find a family huddled in a building that once housed a bank, with their blankets and mats in tow, as well as the family dog. —REPORTS FROM LEILANIE ADRIANO, MELVIN GASCON AND VILLAMOR VISAYA

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2017,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • ‘Urduja’ weakens but continues to wreak havoc
  • Town on Burias Island placed under state of calamity due to ‘Urduja’ rains
  • Deadly California wildfire continues to grow
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Quezon City
  • Pagasa: New tropical depression to enter PAR on Dec. 20
  • Sports

  • Ceres-Negros rips Global Cebu, wins 1st PFL crown
  • Double celebration for F2 import Perez with MVP award and PSL title
  • UAAP: Blue Eaglets sweep first round
  • ABL: Alab Pilipinas posts first win, routs Formosa Dreamers
  • F2 completes comeback, wins PSL Grand Prix title at expense of Petron
  • Lifestyle

  • With obesity on the rise, Paris reflects on mirrored ‘fatphobia’
  • 12 things to do in Honolulu
  • How the primitive island of Mactan became a world-class destination
  • 32 hot hits from the Korean Wave
  • Channeling Slim’s
  • Entertainment

  • Kylie Padilla posts carbon copy throwback photo of her and mom Liezl
  • Kylie Verzosa now with Viva Artists Agency
  • Lolit Solis posts photos of Ellen, John Lloyd’s ‘pre-natal check-up’
  • Disney-Fox deal may create a new nerdy nirvana
  • Stunning ‘Last Jedi’ effectively deviates from formula
  • Business

  • Inflammatory letter sheds light on Uber’s alleged misconduct
  • Fewer jobless Pinoys noted in September
  • October remittances up 8.4% to $2.28B
  • World Bank raises PH growth forecast for 2017 to 6.7%
  • ADB approves $380-M loan to rehabilitate Zamboanga roads
  • Technology

  • Facebook: Using social media can make you feel bad
  • Amazon opts for truce, prepares sales of Apple TV, Chromecast
  •  Space capsule with 3 astronauts returns to Earth
  • Artificial intelligence finds solar system with 8 planets like ours
  • Facebook moves to make more video ad money
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, December 16, 2017
  • To steal food worth P31.50
  • Unmistakable signs of deference to executive branch
  • Gainers have led since 2015
  • Machines vs people
  • Global Nation

  • EU moves to protect seafarers, including Pinoys
  • Which Asian country takes best care of its elders?
  • Duterte tours Pakistani navy ship
  • Technical bug forces Cebu Pacific plane to land in Nagoya
  • PH thumbs down Trump move declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

    • Compensation commission releases P2.3-M to aid Marawi soldiers

      Read More

    • PNP can’t always fool public with ‘nanlaban’ claims – solons

      Read More

    • Poll: Most dislike NFL protests and Trump comments

      Read More

    • Former Mexico governor wanted in US arrested

      Read More

    • US: Nobel Peace choice doesn’t change US stance

      Read More

    • California becomes first ‘sanctuary state’ for undocumented migrants

      Read More

    • Mexican photojournalist found dead after kidnapping

      Read More

    • Moscow gets 130 fake bomb calls, evacuates 100,000 people

      Read More

    • Frustrated police appeal for public’s help in Vegas case

      Read More

    • US states declare emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

      Read More

    • Trump’s one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

      Read More

    • Maute terror base overrun; priest rescued

      Read More

    • CHR execs rebut Duterte: Gascon not a pedophile

      Read More

    • De Lima on Estrada’s bail: We may as well decriminalize plunder

      Read More

    • Army whistle-blower now in hiding

      Read More