GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 4 Oct) – Seven houses and various agricultural crops were damaged as strong winds battered at least two villages in Surallah town, South Cotabato province Thursday afternoon.
Leonardo Ballon, head of the Surallah Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said Friday the incident happened past 4 p.m. at the height of heavy rains in the area.
He said the unusually strong winds, which triggered hail storm in some areas, mainly affected portions of barangays Libertad and Dajay.
In Libertad, he said three houses sustained partial damages while a number of trees were uprooted as a result of the calamity. A vehicle was also damaged after being hit by a felled tree.
Three major roads were partially closed for several hours due to the uprooted trees, which also affected some power lines.
“So far we already cleared the affected roads of the obstruction and power was already restored as of midnight,” he said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo in Koronadal City.
Barangay Dajay chairman Christopher Lazo said four houses, mostly made of light materials, were partially damaged in their village due to the incident.
He said the strong winds, which he believed was triggered by a mild tornado, “flattened” around 20 hectares of palay farmlands and uprooted fruit trees in portions of Puroks Mabini and Rosas.
“It was so strong that it caused huge trees to be uprooted and a terrace of one house to turn backwards,” Lazo said.
The affected households are currently staying with their nearby relatives, he said.
Ballon said their assessment is ongoing as to the extent of the damage, which might have affected other nearby barangays,
He said Mayor Antonio Bendita has ordered their office to provide the necessary assistance to the affected residents. (MindaNews)