GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 04 June) — Strong winds struck past 1 a.m. Thursday, knocking off trees, toppling electric poles and tossed into the air roof sheets, leaving debris on streets in Bula, this city.
A pick-up truck was reported to have smashed into a tree that fell along the Lagao Bula Road. No one was reported injured.
Minutes after the incident, local authorities warned motorists on the dangers of wandering into the central business district as there were many trees and debris strewn all over.
The local government took to social media and discouraged residents, especially those with vehicles, to refrain from going out into the main roads because these will be used by rescue and emergency vehicles.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said they were still assessing the damage caused by the freak weather phenomenon, which many locals said was a mini tornado.
Initial reports said there were close to 50 houses in barangay Bula that were affected.
Emmy Limbo, 57, said she at first thought there was an earthquake when she was awakened by a loud crashing sound from the side of the house where there were several trees.
Limbo said she tried to run out of the house but was met by strong winds and saw the roofing sheets of their carenderia tossed into the air by strong winds and disappeared in darkness.
“There was no rain, only strong winds,” Limbo said, as she pointed out it was the first time they experienced such occurrence.
It happened so fast, she said while gesturing how the strong winds seemed to crumple the roof of their small eatery business.
“I had to go back inside, then I realized my husband was at the carenderia, so I again went back,” said the 57-year old grandmother of an infant who was among four occupants of the now heavily damaged house at Zone 7 in barangay Bula.
Driver Isagani Pigar said the winds felled hue trees huge trees which were strewn along main roads. He said he saw one pick-up truck crash into a tree.
Limbo said not ne of their family members was hurt. She lamented, though, that they again lost a source of livelihood.
“We just reopened the carenderia for about a week now and this happened,” she said.
The city had has been on lockdown since March due to COVID-19 and they had just reopened the eatery because effective June 1, the city’s quarantine status had been downgraded from general community quarantine to modified general community quarantine. (Rommel G Rebollido/ MindaNews)