30 families displaced by strong tornado in SouthCot

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 Apr) – At least 30 families were displaced after a strong tornado ravaged two remote communities in Tantangan town in South Cotabato Wednesday afternoon.

Tantangan Mayor Benjamin Figueroa Jr. said Thursday the twister battered portions of Barangay Magon at past 4 p.m., destroying houses and uprooting trees.

Citing a report from the Magon barangay council, he said no casualties had been reported but it damaged a total of 30 houses.

Musa Magon, chair of Barangay Magon, said the incident happened quite sudden, rendering residents unprepared.

“The horizon just turned gloomy and then the rains and the tornado suddenly came,” he said in a radio interview.

Based on the barangay council’s initial assessment, Magon said eight houses were totally destroyed in Purok Talambungan and another eight in the upland portions of Sitio Takud.

Another 14 houses, which are mainly made of light materials, in the two communities were partially destroyed.

“We evacuated some of the affected families to a warehouse of a local cooperative, a mosque and a school. There were some who chose to stay with their relatives,” Magon said.

He said they are still evaluating the value of damages and are determining whether there were other areas hit by the twister.

Magon said Mayor Figueroa and a team from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office immediately responded to the area on Wednesday night.

He said the team initially distributed food packs and relief items like blankets and mosquito nets.

The South Cotabato Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office has scheduled a visit to the area on Thursday morning to conduct an assessment and assist the needs of the affected families, he added.