They tell this story in the Philippines. Responsible sources there swear it's true.
When the Japanese invaded the city of Vigan on Luzon of the Philippine Islands in 1942, most of the 25,000 inhabitants fled to the farms and the mountains, leaving behind all their possessions. There was no time for orderly evacuation. It was a mad rush of fear-stricken Filipinos running for their lives.
Later they came to believe that the invaders did not intend to butcher them all on sight, and most of the inhabitants slowly and cautiously returned to their homes.