Batanes villagers brace for ‘Nimfa’

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Residents of the island-province of Batanes have begun preparing for Tropical Depression Nimfa by ensuring that their roofs would not be blown away by winds.

“Yes, we would want to ensure again that the roofs of our houses are sturdy enough to withstand winds. In fact, we reiterated anew to villagers to keep their rope-tightened roofs until November,” provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Roldan Esdicul told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Relief goods have been readied, he added.

The Ivatans, the natives of Batanes, are not relaxing in keeping their houses safe as they brace for more typhoons, Esdicul said.

However, residents of quake-devastated Itbayat island, said that typhoons add to their woes.

The frequency of the aftershocks has decreased but villagers remain wary, said Nilda Salengua-Garcia, Itbayat municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer.

“Di na po masyado nararamdaman ang mga afterschocks. Humihina na po at dumadalang na. Ang mga bagyo naman ang binabantayan namin ngayon (Aftershocks are minimal now. What worries us are the typhoons),” Garcia said in a chat message.

Meanwhile, a teacher said she and her co-mentors have been preparing bamboo walls for the tents that they have been using as temporary classrooms. The bamboo walls will serve as a windbreaker against the oncoming typhoon.

“As usual, we have been doing that (putting up bamboo walls for temporary school rooms and tightening ropes for houses). However, today, it is still sunny, even though it is windy,” Itbayat Agricultural National High School teacher, Maria Suzette Cultura, told PNA.

An advisory from the Philippine Coast Guard – Batanes stated the cancellation of sea travels, noting that it was “risky, especially for small sea craft, over the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon due to potentially rough to very rough sea conditions.”  Villamor Visaya, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com