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Tornado, flashfloods hit Glan in Sarangani

A tornado and flashfloods have struck the town of Glan in Sarangani province last Tuesday (June 12), claiming one dead and cutting a wide swath of destruction that left hundreds of families homeless.

According to the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, at least one villager was killed and a total of 778 families evacuated when a tornado struck Barangay Cross past 7 a.m.

Meanwhile, heavy rains, spawned by a low-pressure area, caused the Glan River to overflow. Glan is bounded on the west by Sarangani Bay, on the north by Davao del Sur, and on the south by the Celebes Sea.

The lone fatality was identified as Segafo Cabigding, 69, of Barangay Cross. His mangled body was found in Purok 3, some six kilometers away. He was gathering coconuts at a river dike nearby when he was swept away by the rampaging water the tornado had let loose in its wake.

The tornado also triggered flash floods and big waves in neighboring Barangay Big Margus, destroying several fishing boats and at least 15 houses by the sea, and submerging 15 more houses farther up shore in chest-high water.

At least 54 fishermen from Maasim town, also in Sarangani, aboard several fishing boats in distress off the coast of Big Margus were rescued by the disaster quick-response team led by Police Chief Inspector Jaime Tabucon and Pedrito Lopez, Jr. of the Bureau of Immigration-Glan.

The floods also partially damaged the river control facility all the way down to Barangay Pangyan, where Tabucon and his men found a number of fallen trees and the approach to the bridge on the verge of collapse.

Meanwhile, a total of 210 flood victims living on the river banks in Poblacion Glan, were brought for food and temporary shelter at Glan Central Elementary School, where they were being taken care of by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office with rice, noodles, canned goods and other basic items.

Initial damage to property, including government installations, was put at PhP7 million.

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