We often imagine weekends as leisure time spent with family and friends.
The opposite was true for the people residing in Northern Luzon, Philippines as they spent their weekend tending to their loved ones’ safety as the Category 4 super typhoon Koppu (known locally as Lando) arrived, bringing widespread flooding and lashing winds.
The typhoon made landfall on Sunday in Casiguran, on the island of Luzon, with winds close to 200 km/h. Among the hardest-hit areas were the eastern coastal town of Baler, where significant building damage was reported and the inland city of Cabanatuan, about 100 kilometers north of Manila, where widespread flooding was reported and several rescues requested.
By Monday, Koppu left 12 people dead, several missing, 16,000 displaced and caused power outages in entire provinces. Two elderly farmers, Mario Abesamis, 54, and Pedro Tuarez, 65, died after being caught by flood waters as they tried to save their carabaos near Cabanatuan City, in Nueva Ecija.
Typhoon victims putting their lives on the line for the sake of their animals is a common challenge for disaster officials in the Philippines. Carabaos are more than pets for these farmers; as working animals play a vital role in cultivating the land people earn a living from, they consider them to be part of their families.
— James Reynolds (@EarthUncutTV) October 18, 2015
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) October 18, 2015
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) October 18, 2015
— David Y. Santos (@davidyusantos) October 18, 2015