At least 52 houses and related structures were damaged as flashfloods, landslides and a strong tornado ravaged several farming villages in two municipalities in South Cotabato province on Monday afternoon.
No casualties have been reported but an initial 27 houses and farm sheds were confirmed damaged after a twister battered two villages in Norala town while another 25 houses were affected by flashfloods and landslides that hit a remote community in Tupi town.
In Norala town, municipal social welfare officer Alice Fuentes said the twister, which came after a heavy downpour, struck Barangays Matapol and Simsiman at around 3 p.m. and battered communities in the area for about an hour and a half.
She said the strong winds brought by the twister tore off the roofs of houses and uprooted trees along its path.
“The main road going to Barangay Matapol was initially inaccessible when we first responded to the area because it was blocked by felled trees,” Fuentes said in a radio interview.
Citing their initial assessment, she said three houses in Purok Paghidait and five more in Purok Milagrosa of Barangay Matapol sustained partial damages as a result of the incident.
Fuentes said the damages to the affected structures in the area were initially valued at around P60,000.
The official said personnel from the Norala Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) were still evaluating the extent of the damage caused by the tornado in nearby Barangay Simisiman but said 19 houses were initially reported as damaged in the area.
In Tupi town, officials of Barangay Cebuano reported that a house was totally destroyed while 24 more sustained partial damages after a flashflood and landslide swept Sitio Tucay-el on Monday afternoon.