Whirlwind destroys mosque, houses in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – A strong whirlwind toppled power lines, destroyed houses and a mosque, and injured a bypasser in the coastal village of Sinunuc, some 12 kilometers away from this city’s center.
Pilarica Ledesma, Sinunuc barangay chair, told the Inquirer that a sudden gust of strong wind around 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday destroyed around 36 houses as well as several sari-sari stores and a mosque.
“Winds blew off the roofing of residences, toppled a number of power lines. We are having a power outage here, even the mosque’s roof was blown away, and the house of one of my kagawad was destroyed,” Ledesma said.
She also identified one injured as Ronald Pael Mariano, a habal-habal driver. “He just passed by when the roof and wood caught up to him and hit his arms. We did first aid and we rushed him to
the Zamboanga City Medical Center for further medical attention.”
Elmeir Apolinario, the city disaster risk reduction and management officer, said a whirlwind hit the barangay and stayed around for almost 4 minutes.
“Assessment (of damage) is ongoing right now. So far, we received a report of one injured person,” Apolinario said.
Maria Socorro Rojas, the city social welfare officer, said there are 36 families displaced.
“Validation is ongoing to determine the exact number of structures destroyed and number of families affected,” Rojas said.
Ledesma is appealing to the city government officials to extend assistance to the affected families. “We need materials to rebuild houses, roofs for houses, and rehabilitate the mosque.”
She said the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative dispatched a team to repair all the toppled power lines in the area.