Tornado destroys 26 houses in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 10 October) – A tornado hit a coastal village here around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, damaging at least 26 houses, an official said.

The tornado hit Barangay Talontalon hours before the center of Tropical Storm Maring was spotted 665 kilometers (km) east of Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province, Luzon.

The storm was packing sustained winds of 85 km/hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 km/h, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management officer, said the 26 houses were partially destroyed by the tornado’s strong winds.

Talontalon Barangay Captain Cashmir Candido said the 26 affected families are residents of the Candido urban poor section, Sunrise Drive, Omar Drive and Puerto Princesa Drive, all in Logoy Grande.

Francis Selaras, 22, was alone at their home in Logoy Diutay when the tornado struck, ripping off their roof and the wooden walls that ended up in the sea. He said he was shocked by the tornado’s strength.

Apolinario said there were no reported casualties, with the strong winds also felt in the villages of Canelar, Sinunuc and Camino Nuevo.

He added the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management teams responded to the incident.

In a separate interview, Socorro Rojas, City Social Welfare and Development officer, said that cash assistance will be extended to the affected families.

As of posting, the responders were still assessing the extent of damage. (Frencie Carreon / MindaNews)