Valencia, tornado-prone area – PAGASA Bukidnon chief

MALAYBALAY CITY – Some areas in Bukidnon are prone to tornadoes, the Valencia City barangays along the Pulangui River, included, Anianita Fortich, chief meteorological officer PAGASA Bukidnon said.

She added that the tornado that passed through affected barangays Purok 18 Batangan, Purok 5B in Kahaponan, and Purok 8 in Tongantongan and neighboring barangays in Valencia city are prone to tornado.

“Areas where you have a river, mountains, and plain areas you have the place where tornadoes develop,” she added.

She cited that those who dwell slightly built house made of light materials and live along river banks are most vulnerable.

But she clarified that these tornadoes are not too strong.  She cited climate change as another factor that affected wind movements.

A one-year old boy died and four persons were hurt in a tornado incident in three villages in Valencia City Saturday afternoon, Capt. Alejandro Larosa, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council coordinator reported to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

James Alumin, from Purok 18, Batangan Valencia City was swept by strong winds when the tornado passed through their house. He was separated from his mother, Mary Grace, 22, one of four persons injured in the incident.

The others hurt in the incident were identified as Gogelyn Versaga, 15; Sinisa Versaga; and Elton Galsin, 23. All those hurt, except Galson, were confined at the Abella Miway Hospital in Valencia City.

Sinisa Versaga, 48, worst hit among the victims, needed an urgent operation for a dislocated shoulder bone, Lilith Tabamo, a neighbor who watched for the family, told Bukidnon News via telephone. She has attended to Versaga, who is the mother of Mary Grace and Gogelyn. Her grandson, James, was swept by winds to a nearby canal.

Tabamo said they were attended to in the hospital. But she noted that Sinisa’s situation is sensitive as her doctors said she must undergo operation as soon as possible. Her husband died recently.

“Hopefully, the assistance from the government will include her operation,” said Tabamo, who goes to the same church as the Versagas. The tornado passed around 4:30p.m. Saturday.

The tornado affected 40 families or 151 persons.

In August 2010, a tornado also wreaked the villages of Sinanlayan and Pakangan, both in Valencia City leaving an elderly woman dead and about 67 houses destroyed, according to a report from PAGASA Bukidnon. (Bukidnon News)

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