KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/01 July) – A tornado swept through at least two remote barangays in Antipas town, North Cotabato, destroying some P2.5 million worth of banana and rubber farms as well as cornfields at around 7:45 Saturday morning but no person was killed or injured, Insp. Felix Fornan, chief of police of Antipas, said.
Fornan said a strong tornado destroyed portions of agricultural fields in barangays Canaan and Camutan, affecting at least 10 farmers, among them the banana and rubber farms owned by Barangay Canaan chair Daniel Golosino, concurrent chair of the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) in Antipas.
Also hit were farms owned by Dante Amboland Renante Sarbon, also of Barangay Canaan, according to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
Fornan said that before the tornado, residents in the area experienced sudden strong winds followed by heavy rains.
The strong winds were felt by residents even in the Poblacion, which is at least 15 kilometres away from the affected villages, he said.
Fornan said villagers are in a quandary as to why Antipas is often visited by tornados.
The tornado last Saturday was the third this year but Fornan said it was the strongest and most destructive.
Antipas, being centrally located at the heart of Arakan Valley, has an average rainfall of 72 mm throughout the year, data from the MDRRMC said. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)