100 families displaced after whirlwind hits Danao City villages
CEBU CITY – One person complained of difficulty in breathing while a few others suffered minor injuries after a “swirling wind” tore down 16 structures and damaged around 60 more in Barangays Suba and Taytay in Danao City, located 48 kilometers north of Cebu City, Monday night.
The whirlwind displaced around a hundred families who spent the night in their barangay’s covered court, said City Councilor Roland Reyes of Danao.
Reyes said residents saw the swirling wind in Barangay Suba.
The tornado was spotted a few minutes before it started to rain in the city around 8:30 p.m.
Al Canasa, weather specialist 2 of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Mactan Island, Cebu, said what residents saw could have been a whirlwind locally known as “ipo-ipo” and not a tornado.
She said whirlwinds form as a result of thunderstorms and normally have a wind velocity ranging from 200 to 300 km per hour.
Whirlwinds would normally last for a few seconds to a minute and have a fast moving vortex because these are smaller in size as compared to a tornado or “buhawi.”
Canasa said light to moderate raining was recorded in northern Cebu on Monday night which was triggered by the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITZC).
Advisories were issued by Pagasa that rain had affected the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Danao and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Carmen in northern Cebu from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., she added.
Danny Roble, executive assistant for Danao Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, said city officials were at the Danao City Civic Center for the annual recognition of top taxpayers when it started to rain past 8 p.m.
He said their power supply went off at least thrice starting 8:30 p.m. while dinner was being served.
Roble said that it was raining at that time.
Councilor Reyes said the swirling wind was first spotted in Barangay Suba.
It tore down eight structures mostly made of light materials and damaged 17 others, affecting 98 families.
The swirling wind then moved to the nearby Barangay Taytay and also tore down eight more structures and damaged 43 others before it finally dissipated.