‘Tornado’ strikes houses, park in Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
CEBU (Updated) -- Strong winds toppled trees and damaged houses in some areas in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu during last night’s thunderstorm.
Three residents of Barangay Mactan in Lapu-Lapu and five in Barangay Looc in Mandaue were injured, according to officials.
Strong winds also damaged five houses in Mactan and two houses in Looc.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's (Pagasa)-Mactan Station issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 6:50 p.m. in Metro Cebu, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Toledo, Balamban and Asturias.
Weather specialist Jhomar Eclarino said they received calls about a reported tornado in the Mandaue Reclamation Area.
Mandaue City Administrator James Abadia said strong winds damaged houses in Barangay Looc, particularly in Sitio Bohol-Bohol and Sitio Superior.
Traffic lights in Barangay Banilad and the reclamation area were also damaged. Damage was also reported in the St. James Amusement Park and the Parkmall in the reclamation area.
Parkmall, in an official statement posted on their Facebook page, said no major damage to property and injuries were sustained.
"A strong gust of wind came our way past 8:00 PM today. Thankfully, Parkmall only had minor disruption: our tables and chairs at the Al Fresco 1 area were turned upside-down. Other than that, no major damage to property and injuries were sustained. Thank you so much and keep safe," Parkmall said.
Abadia said the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation and the City’s Accident Control and Emergency Rescue Team quickly went to Looc, where five persons suffered minor injuries and two houses were badly damaged.
One of the injured persons was a 30-year-old woman whose foot was hit by a falling cabinet.
Abadia said affected families transferred to their relatives’ houses.
Pagasa recorded winds that were moving 21 meters per second at 7:45 p.m.
On Twitter, Rep. Luigi Quisumbing (@luigiquisumbing) said he “dispatched teams to assess damage and conduct relief operations. Hoping the tornado didn’t cause too much damage.”
A woman who was on a bus (@ennaniralc) told Sun.Star Cebu via Facebook that the vehicle stopped in Catmondaan, Catmon town around 8 p.m. because a gemelina tree had fallen on the highway in front of the old market.
“The roof of the old market was ruined,” she said. “It was dark and there was no electricity.”
Eclarino said they are still analyzing data from their Doppler radar, but he said the likelihood of a tornado during severe thunderstorms is high.
Lighting, thunder, strong winds and heavy rains occur during a thunderstorm, Eclarino said.
Terrence Escobido, a radio operator at Lapu-Lapu City’s Network for Early Response on the Verge of Emergency, said they received reports of fallen trees in Barangays Mactan, Buaya and Punta Engaño.
“We immediately sent personnel to clear the roads of fallen trees,” he said.
Three residents in five houses damaged by the strong wind were injured, he said.
“Ingon sa mga residente ipoipo kuno ang niigo sa ilang lugar (Some of the residents blamed a tornado),” Escobido said.
Brownouts occurred in many barangays in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.
Pagasa’s Eclarino said they shut down their main power after issuing a thunderstorm warning, to avoid damage. Last August, their doppler radar and other devices were damaged by lighting.
Strong winds shattered one of their station’s glass windows, he said.
He advised the public to keep away from metals or water during thunderstorms to avoid electrocution. (Rebelander S. Basilan of Sun.Star Cebu)