Tornado damages hundreds of houses in Tarlac

Text and photos by Dax Simbol

Posted at May 05 2013 04:39 PM | Updated as of May 06 2013 04:53 PM

PANIQUI, Tarlac – Hundreds of families were affected by a tornado which struck five barangays in this town last Friday. Sixty-four houses were totally wrecked in Brgy. Ventenilla which was hit hardest by the tornado.

According to Tarlac Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive officer Virgilio Florendo, 254 families or 1,095 persons in the villages of Ventinilla, Cabayaoasan, Tablang, Salumague, and Nancamarinan were affected "by this unfortunate incident.”

Ventenilla village chief Atelano Ildefonso said the 64 houses were totally wrecked but fortunately no one was hurt by tornado which lasted for less than an hour.

Rosa Hilario, 27, recalled that it started to rain hard when the strong winds blew.

Hilario said she saw huge mango trees being uprooted and felt their house swaying. She ran to the house of her next-door neighbor which was built of concrete unlike her abode which was made of bamboo and nipa.

Nothing was left of her house after the tornado.

"People from the Department of Social Welfare and Development have already started giving away relief goods to our people here in Ventenilla." reported barangay councilor Jun Baniquet. "Our current problem is that we still do not have electricity."

"We were all caught by surprise," added Randy Pangiliban who is currently helping rebuild his son's house which was also damaged by the tornado. "This is the first time this has happened to our community."