Woman hurt, 50 families displaced by twister in Tupi

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 June) — A woman was injured while around 50 families were displaced after a strong tornado struck a farming village in Tupi town in South Cotabato late Thursday afternoon.

Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo said Friday the twister, which came after heavy rains, hit two sitios of Barangay Kablon at past 5 p.m., ravaging farmlands and several local communities.

He said a local resident whom he only identified as Mrs. Sucal suffered injuries due to flying debris during the incident and is now being treated at a local hospital.

“It (tornado) was quite strong and extensive considering that the two affected sitios were seven kilometers apart,” he said in a radio interview.

Citing a report from the Tupi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), the mayor said an initial 34 houses were found destroyed as of Thursday night but it jumped to nearly 50 as of Friday morning.

He said around 50 families were listed as directly affected by the calamity but said the figures could still increase as some of the damaged houses hosted two or more families.

Aside from properties, he said the tornado also damaged some farms and agricultural plantations in the area.

“The field assessment is still ongoing and we’re checking all areas that were covered by the tornado’s path,” Tamayo said.

The official said the local government, through its MDRRMO and social welfare office, initially released food and other relief assistance to the affected families.

He said the town’s calamity funds are also ready for release as they already declared the entire area last week under a state of calamity due to impact of heavy rains and floods in parts of the municipality in the past several weeks.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said she has ordered the Provincial DRRM Office to provide additional relief assistance to the affected residents in the area.

The governor said she dispatched some of their personnel to the area to assess the situation and determine the other needs of those affected by the calamity. (MindaNews)