Strong winds destroy houses, crops in SoCot town

Strong winds destroy houses, crops in SoCot town

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — At least seven houses and various agricultural crops were destroyed as strong winds battered at least two villages in Surallah town, South Cotabato province, on Thursday afternoon.

Leonardo Ballon, head of the Surallah Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said Friday the incident happened past 4 p.m. at the height of heavy rains in the area.

Ballon said the unusually strong winds, which triggered hailstorm in some areas, affected portions of Barangays Libertad and Dajay.

In Libertad, he said three houses sustained partial damages while a number of trees were uprooted as a result of the calamity. A vehicle was also damaged after being hit by a felled tree.

Three major roads were partially closed for several hours due to the uprooted trees, which also affected several power lines.

“So far we already cleared the affected roads of the obstruction and power was already restored as of midnight,” he said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo in Koronadal City.

Barangay Dajay chairman Christopher Lazo said four houses, mostly made of light materials, were partially damaged in their village due to the incident.

Lazo said the strong winds, which he believed was triggered by a mild tornado, “flattened” around 20 hectares of palay farmlands and uprooted fruit trees in portions of Puroks Mabini and Rosas.

“It was so strong that it caused huge trees to be uprooted and a terrace of one house to turn backward,” Lazo said.

The affected households are currently staying with their relatives, he said.

Ballon said assessment is ongoing on the extent of damage, which might have affected other nearby barangays,

He said Mayor Antonio Bendita has already ordered the distribution of assistance to the affected residents.  Allen Estabillo / PNA –