NINETY-FIVE houses in Barangay Magballo, Kabankalan City in southern Negros Occidental were hit by a tornado at around 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, May 3.
Barangay Captain Egan Antonio said the tornado, which lasted for about an hour, traversed 12 of the barangay’s 18 sitios, destroyed 10 houses, and damaged 85 others.
Barangay Magballo is situated around 30 kilometers from the city proper.
The tornado, which brought with it strong winds, rain, and hail, also damaged three classrooms each of the Magballo Elementary School and Tapi National High School-Magballo Extension. A chapel was also hit.
Antonio said a couple and their 12-year-old daughter sustained minor injuries, and were treated at a hospital.
“We first saw a formation of dark clouds with a white line at the center. Afterward, rains with seed-like hailstones poured in,” Antonio told Sun.Star Bacolod in a telephone interview.
The phenomenon caused visibility to deteriorate in the barangay, causing a panic among 400 residents.
The 12 sitios in Barangay Magballo that had been hit by the tornado were Mabua, Gamao, Landing, Tanhalique, Buyogbuyogan, Singko, Uno, Tres, Kwatro, Pakama, Carewinan, and Mampuso.
“The tornado moved from one sitio to another. It lasted for almost an hour,” Antonio said.
He added that the affected residents were not evacuated as they immediately repaired their houses.
Antonio said an ocular inspection of the affected areas was conducted by the City Social Welfare and Development Office on Wednesday, May 4.
Adelina Tomaro, the city’s Social Welfare and Development Officer, said her office continues to assess the damage and was finalizing the exact number of individuals and families affected.
According to the City Social Welfare Office’s records, 15 sitios were affected.
Tomaro said they have extended relief goods, clothes, and other necessities to the affected families.
Mayor Isidro Zayco said the City Government would provide financial assistance to the Magballo residents. Families whose houses were destroyed would receive P5,000 each while those with damaged houses will be given P3,000 each. (with reports from GYM/MPE)