BACOLOD CITY: A tornado destroyed seven houses and damaged 41 other structures in two areas in Negros Occidental on Saturday morning.
Records from the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) showed that 31 of the houses affected were in Pontevedra town and 17 others were in La Carlota City.
PDMPD chief Zeaphard Caelian said the tornado was caused by the enhanced southwest monsoon or habagat.
In La Carlota City, Roberto Aizpuru Jr., head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said three houses were destroyed, while 14 others were damaged, affecting 17 families and 68 individuals in Barangay RSB.
Aizpuro added that the tornado passed by the barangay (village) around 10:30 a.m., hitting houses mostly made from light materials.
He said a big star apple tree was uprooted, causing road closure in the area for several hours.
Three other trees were also uprooted and fell on some of the houses.
Members of some of the affected households were temporarily sheltered at a covered court, Aizpuro said.
In Pontevedra town, four houses were destroyed, while 27 others were damaged in Barangay Canroma, affecting 31 families and 149 individuals.
Fairy Grace Andrico, head of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said they received a report on the tornado around 10:15 a.m.
Andrico added that flooding was also reported in Barangay San Juan due to a storm surge.
She said 36 families were affected by ankle-high waters in the coastal village.
“We were supposed to have forced evacuations, but the water slowly subsided,” Andrico added.
There were no casualties reported in the two affected areas.