GENERAL SANTOS CITY – At least 15 houses were reported damaged while various agricultural crops were destroyed after strong winds battered portions of three barangays in Tupi town, South Cotabato province on Monday afternoon.
Emil Sumagaysay, head of Tupi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said on Tuesday the incident happened at the height of heavy rains past 3 p.m. in Barangays Palian, Tubeng and Bololmala.
He said 14 houses in the three barangays were partially damaged while another one in Sitio Abdul, Barangay Palian was totally destroyed.
The strong winds also ravaged papaya and banana plantations, and other farmlands planted with various agricultural crops, he said.
Sumagaysay said several barangay roads were blocked by fallen trees but were already cleared by concerned residents and village workers and declared passable as of 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“The assessment in the affected areas is still ongoing but the damage to agricultural crops was quite extensive based on initial reports,” he said in a radio interview.
He said among the damaged farm areas are banana and papaya plantations, with some still in vegetative and early fruiting stages, under a growership arrangement with fruit firm Dole Stanfilco.
Some of the affected plantation owners had been shipping their produce to Del Monte Philippines Inc. based in Bukidnon, he said.
Sumagaysay assured that the local government will provide the necessary assistance to the affected residents and farmers.
He said they will process the release of shelter assistance to the lone household whose house was assessed as totally damaged.
The official urged residents in parts of the municipality to remain vigilant for the possible occurrence of floods, landslides, and other disasters due to the continuing rainy season.
He cited those situated in identified flood and landslide-prone areas in portions of Barangays Cebuano, Lunen, and Tubeng.
“We’re closely coordinating with the concerned barangays to properly communicate and alert residents in case of possible disasters,” he said. (PNA)