WATCH: Tornado hits Fort Santiago in Manila
MANILA, Philippines – A tornado hit Manila amid heavy rain brought by the southwest monsoon (habagat) on Sunday, August 14, leaving 1 injured and more than 100 houses destroyed, according to city disaster management chief Johnny Yu.
Locally called "ipu-ipo," the tornado was seen passing by Fort Santiago in a video posted by netizen Paulo Domingo.
"At first it was just a strong wind but then the people near our dorm (Madrigal Dormtel) started screaming. The tornado passed by the dorm in Fort Santiago at around 4:30 pm... I was only around 10 meters away," Domingo told Rappler.
Domingo said that based on eyewitness accounts, the tornado started from the city's port area.
"I think many iron sheets were blown away because the tornado lasted 10 minutes... I don't know if anyone was injured but I saw that many trees fell and garbage were scattered. After the tornado, the people started going out to fix the damage," he added.
Other netizens also posted videos of the tornado.
Happened around 5PM today. pic.twitter.com/cIS1Jj3moI— Adesa Ferraris (@adesaferraris) August 14, 2016
'Nothing to fear'
While the tornado in Manila was destructive, weather forecaster Buddy Javier of state weather bureau PAGASA said there is nothing to fear because tornadoes can occur anytime.
"Tornadoes occur when there are congestive clouds – when the warm air goes up and it becomes heavily dense, it will come down. At the same time, there's still warm air going up so a circulation occurs," Javier told Rappler.
He added: "It can happen anytime even if there's no southwest monsoon, as long as congestive clouds are present. We've seen it happen in other areas in the country before."
Javier added that the damage in Manila is what's expected in the aftermath of tornadoes.
"Structures made of light materials are in danger of being destroyed. Trees can be uprooted. It can happen anytime, yes, but it's usually not destructive," he added.
PAGASA earlier warned Luzon and Western Visayas on Saturday, August 13, to brace for more heavy rains in the next 5 days. In Marikina City alone, some 2,087 families or 10,561 individuals already evacuated from their homes. – With a report from Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler.com
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