‘Freak’ tornado hits Ampatuan town

DATU ODIN, Maguindanao del Norte — Residents were caught off-guard after a sudden downpour coupled with strong winds damaged over 20 houses, business establishments, and electric posts in Ampatuan town in this province on Tuesday afternoon.

The “freak” tornado — which lasted for only 15 minutes — devastated Barangay Kauran of Ampatuan town and damaged establishments, toppled electric posts and sent roofs flying through the air.

Meantime, a passenger van driver plying the Cotabato-Maguindanao-Sultan Kudarat route, said he saw galvanized steel roof sheets blown away as strong winds battered the town’s commercial district.

“I even feared that the strong wind could push my Toyota Hi-Ace van while parked at the roadside,” said the driver.

Many residents believed the village had been hit by a “freak tornado,” noting the rotating column of air that blew away everything in its path.

Nash Imam, head of Maguindanao provincial disaster risk reduction and management council said evaluation is ongoing.

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