Tsunami Scare

Roxas City, Capiz- It was around 10:30 PM. I barely had fallen asleep when I was awaken by the noise of a very unusual heavy flow of vehicles passing and the voices of people outside my house. This is usually a very quiet neighborhood, especially at night so I got curious. I peeked on my bedroom window and noticed the numerous vehicles passing, all going in one direction… the city.

My dogs barking frantically outside to the passing vehicles. I went out the house to investigate further. Since the power on this part of the city have been restored yet after the super typhoon Haiyan, the whole area is generally dark, except for the dim lights coming from a few houses and the headlights of the passing vehicles. The sky was beautifully clear, I can see stars shining brightly, adding a little more light to the dark neighborhood. I even spotted a falling star.

I aimed my flashlight on the passing vehicles. I realized each vehicle is full of people. Tricycles – the main means of public transportation in this city – is overflowing with people and what it seems all things they can carry in a hurry and in such a small vehicle. I went out of the gate and stopped a small group of people walking and asked them what’s happening.

A man said, they are evacuating because there was a threat of a tsunami coming. (The area is less than three kilometers from the bay). I thought, The sky is clear and there was no earthquake, how could there be a tsunami?

The man continued that there were even words that the tide on the beach has already risen. I thought “A rising tide is not a sign of a coming tsunami…”
I asked him if he had seen it himself, he said no, rather that’s what they have been told.

I wondered how did the news started… How come the people from the coastal baranggays (villages) decided to evacuate? I opened my facebook on my phone (thanks to Globe for the free FB), there I realized somebody sent a text message that there is tsunami coming and almost all residents of all coastal areas not just in our city but on other municipalities have evacuated to higher grounds out of fear.

About past midnight, some vehicles are now going the other direction … returning to their abandoned homes, maybe realizing that it was nothing but a false alarm.

I asked a couple of ladies, who seems to be merely taking a leisure walk with their dog, what made them decide to evacuate. They said, they were startled when their companion in their house awakened them and told them of the impending (but untrue) threat.

I returned to bed quite irritated. I opened my Facebook again and posted my anger toward the person who started that fake tsunami scare. Obviously, I wasn’t alone.

Whoever started that text message, I say, You’ve done a great job scaring a whole lot of people and may have caused the heart attacks of a  few.

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