By Atom Araullo
EAST SAMAR – For residents of Eastern Samar, the threat of Typhoon Ruby seems like déjà vu. Carrying with them lessons from last year’s Typhoon Yolanda, many of them here are now more cautious and alert.
On a hill near a highway in Quinapondan, some families have set up makeshift tents. They are confident these tents are sturdy enough to withstand Ruby’s strong winds.
“Matibay po yan,” said Gomer Quino, a resident in the area. “Binabaon naming ang ilang metro, tapos tinatalian namin, tapos may pako pa.”
The residents have also stocked up on food and other supplies, even slaughtering a pig that was supposed to be cooked for their town festival.
Lani Lamagbas, who’s on a tight budget, gathered root crops for her family.
“Wala po kasing kaming hanapbuhay ngayon,” said Lumagbas, “di makapag palaot, ito muna ang kakainin namin sa loob ng ilang araw.”
In the municipality of General MacArthur, local officials were busy preparing relief goods. But their supplies are only good enough for one day.
Meanwhile, forced evacuation – especially in coastal areas – will be implemented.
But there are many other residents who don’t need convincing. In Barangay Batang in Hernani, practically all the homes are already empty, with people heeding warnings to evacuate. Homes in the barangay were once wiped out when “Yolanda” struck. More than 20 people were killed.
“Nagsisimula nap o kami,” said Mercy Baguan. “Eto na naman mangyayari ulit.”
Residents say they will closely monitor the news, as they brace themselves for the potentially destructive typhoon.