Tornadoes in Surigao Norte town send villagers to panic

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 Oct) – Tornadoes that appeared off the shore of Malimono town in Surigao del Norte Monday morning forced villagers to evacuate to hilly portions.

(Video footage courtesy of Arnel Amalla)

According to Arnel Amalla, planning and development officer of the said town, the occurrence of the two tornadoes horrified the townsfolk.

Amalla took video footages of the tornadoes and posted it on his Facebook.

But the tornadoes eventually disappeared without harming the villagers, he said.

In a phone interview, Amalla said the tornadoes were “so close” these were “visible to everyone’s eyes,” sending people to panic.

He said that people in Barangay Cayawan in Malimono rushed to the hilly portions as the tornadoes approached the village.

“Namakwit, nanagan sa bukiron nga bahin kay gikulbahaan sila sa ilang nakita nga buhawi (People evacuated, ran to the hilly portions because they were so afraid of the tornadoes they were seeing with their own eyes),” he said.

In the town proper, Amalla said curious students and town folks rushed to the shoreline to see the twisters.

“It was rare that it happened here and people were really scared of what they saw,” he said.

Amalla said the first tornado appeared around 10 a.m. and lasted for five minutes before it disappeared in the horizon. A few minutes later, a bigger tornado appeared, just two kilometers from the shore.

He said they could see the water splashing at the base of the tornado.

“We were scared because the tornadoes were moving towards the town,” Amalla said. “Had the tornadoes hit the town, we could have been ripped apart. It was a horrific scene,” he added.

But the second tornado disappeared as it moved closer to the shoreline, 20 minutes after it first appeared.

Amalla said they last saw a tornado in the late 1990s.