AFTERMATH: Super Typhoon Lawin devastates Northern Luzon

MANILA, Philippines - Super Typhoon Lawin (international name Haima), one of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the country, has caused widescale destruction to private and public properties particularly farming communities across Northern Luzon. No immediate reports of casualties were documented for the destructive typhoon, whose winds were as powerful as typhoon Yolanda, as of this writing.

Super Typhoon Lawin devastates Northern Luzon

An initial assessment from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates that about 60,000 families were affected by super typhoon Lawin.

Lawin, which made landfall in Peñablanca, Cagayan at 11 pm on Wednesday, October 19 destroyed houses, uprooted roots of big trees, tore off building roofs , toppled power and communication lines, and ravaged farms in northern regions of Luzon particularly Isabela, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Kalinga, and Northern Abra, where the storm signal was raised to number 5 (220 km/h winds).

Destruction in Cagayan

Destruction in Cagayan
More than 700 residents in Alcala town in Cagayan seeks refuge on Alcala Gymnasium. PHOTO CREDIT: Inquirer
In Ilagan, Cagayan, rice and corn plants were flattened, according to university teacher Villamor Visaya.

“Many houses were destroyed. I saw one school building crushed under a large tree… it was as if our house was being pulled from its foundations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tuguegarao mayor Jefferson Soriano said that when Lawin made landfall, it ravaged schools and gymnasiums intended as shelters for evacuees. He said rescuers were unable to go out and respond to people who need help.

Displacing Residents in La Union

La Union residents were left without a choice but seek shelter inside an airport. Aside from the airport, evacuees, who fled their homes near the coastline, used government buildings as temporary shelters. According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), around 1,000 families in seven municipalities in La Union have been evacuated.

Around 233 families in Bauang town in La Union were displaced due to the super typhoon
Around 233 families in Bauang town in La Union were displaced due to the super typhoon. PHOTO CREDIT: ABS-CBN News

Toppling Trees in Ilocos Sur

The road connecting Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur was temporarily left impassable after several trees were toppled by super typhoon Lawin’s strong winds.

Ilocos Sur PDRRMC chair Michael Tan said they are experiencing difficulties in transmitting reports as Internet connections and electricity had been cut off in the area.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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