Whirlwind destroys homes, displaces Danao families

By: Doris C. Bongcac, Inna Gian Mejia, Nestle L. Semillla June 06,2017 - 09:45 PM

An old man and a child looked forlorn as they survey what remained of their homes after a whirlwind struck their area in Barangay Suba, Danao City.
Photo taken from the Facebook page of Roland Jikjik Reyes.

Hundreds of families were displaced as strong winds, which they described as a “tornado”, tore through 16 houses and damaged 60 more in Barangays Suba and Taytay in Danao City at past 8 p.m. last Monday.

One person complained of difficulty in breathing while a few others sustained minor injuries as the families were forced to spend the night in their respective barangay covered courts, Danao City Councilor Roland Reyes said.

“Ipo-ipo gyud ilahang ingon. According sa mga nakakita nag-start siya sa Suba didto nag-form sa yuta dayon ni cross along ngadto sa Taytay (It was really a tornado. According to the residents, it started and it formed in Barangay Suba before it crossed to Taytay),” Reyes said.

The tornado was spotted a few minutes before it started to rain in Danao City located 48 kilometers north of Cebu City at past 8:30 p.m.

Marnel Joseph Lato of the Danao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DCDRRMO) said 98 families were displaced as eight houses were destroyed and 17 were damaged in Barangay Suba.

Around nine houses were destroyed and 43 more damaged in Taytay.

Al Canasa, weather specialist of the state weather bureau Pagasa, said what residents saw could have been a whirlwind locally known as “ipo-ipo” and not a tornado.

She said whirlwinds form due to thunderstorms and has a wind velocity ranging from 200 to 300 km per hour.

Whirlwinds would normally last for a few seconds to a minute and has a fast moving vortex because it is smaller in size compared to a tornado or “buhawi.”

Canasa said light to moderate rains were recorded in northern Cebu last Monday evening which resulted from the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITZC).

Pag-asa issued rain advisories affecting the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Danao and the towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Carmen in northern Cebu at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. respectively, Canasa said.

Danny Roble, executive assistant for Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, said city officials were at the Danao City Civic Center for the annual recognition of top taxpayers when it started to rain past 8 p.m.

He said their power supply went off at least three times starting at 8:30 p.m. and while dinner was being served.

Last Monday’s rains also caused a major landslide that hit the boundary between Barangays Sirao and Pulangbato in Cebu City.

At least five houses were affected in Sitio Langub in Barangay Sirao. Councilor Dave Tumulak, committee on public order and safety chairman, said the city sent heavy equipment to clear the area.

“For the commuters and passersby especially in the landslide-prone areas, if it is really risky for them, just avoid the place as much as possible,” he said.

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TAGS: Danao, destroys, displaced, displaces, families, homes, reyes, whirlwind

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