Obeying orders saved my life

Obeying orders saved my life
Mr Likim Wong, extreme left, with the guests and staff at Evolution Resrot of Malapascua safe.

NEAR DEATH

If he had not heeded warnings and continued to stay in the chalet, he would have died.

The bamboo and attap structure he had been in was badly damaged when Typhoon Haiyan swept through Malapascua, an island popular with divers.

Programmer Likim Wong obeyed instructions and headed inland as the typhoon approached the island at the northernmost tip of Cebu last week.

"Lucky for me, the owners and staff at Evolution Diving and Beach Resort heeded the typhoon warnings and moved all the guests to concrete rooms inland on Thursday, in anticipation of the coming storm," Mr Wong, 33, told The New Paper.

One of the most powerful storms on record, Typhoon Haiyan - named Yolanda by the Philippine authorities - slammed into the country on Thursday, with a storm surge two-storeys high and some of the highest winds ever measured in a tropical cyclone.

Mr Wong was on an eight-day trip to Malapascua to do a technical diving course.

"I was supposed to have finished the course on Thursday, with an additional dive on Friday, and then return to Singapore on Saturday. But with the impending storm, we finished on Wednesday instead and spent Thursday hauling the valuable stuff from the resort further inland and securing windows, door, shutters in anticipation," he said.

The staff and guests also stocked up water, chocolates and chips.

"It hit Malapascua on Friday morning from around 8am to noon," Mr Wong said, adding that it was the worst storm he had ever experienced.

"I worked for two years in Taiwan and had been through many storms there, but this one took the cake," he said.

The winds were so strong it uprooted trees and blew away the roofs of homes. Resorts near the beachfront were destroyed.

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