Tornado topples trees, damages houses in SoCot town

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Several houses and business establishments were damaged while some power lines were toppled after a mild tornado hit portions of the town center of Tupi in South Cotabato on Sunday afternoon.

Rolly Doane Aquino, operations and warning head of the South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the weather disturbance came amid heavy rains around 3 p.m. in Barangay Poblacion in Tupi and the neighboring areas.

Aquino said no casualties were reported but the strong winds wrought havoc on residential communities and parts of the area’s commercial center.

Uprooted and fallen tree branches damaged a house, a vulcanizing shop, and the main shed of a gas station located beside the Sta. Teresita Parish church along the national highway, he said.

“The assessment is still ongoing and are anticipating other possible damages in the inner areas,” he said in a video update posted on Facebook on Sunday night.

Based on initial reports from the Tupi Municipal DRMMO, two houses were damaged in Purok 9 and 10 of Barangay Poblacion due to the onslaught of the strong winds.

Several other structures were also affected in Purok 14 due to fallen trees, which partially covered some roads.

Aquino said personnel from the MDRRMO and barangay volunteers already cleared the affected roads and structures of the fallen trees. 

He said Tupi Mayor Romeo Tamayo directed the MDRRMO head Emil Sumagaysay to assess the other damages and determine possible assistance to the affected residents.  Allen Estabillo / PNA –