100 families in Laguna affected by ruthless tornado

A child was hurt while around a hundred families were allegedly affected when a tornado hit Sitio Southridge in Barangay San Antonio, San Pedro City, Laguna a few days ago.

According to a report from Interaksyon, a tornado hit the village on Wednesday afternoon, May 6, 2015; destroying 50 houses and leaving one injured.

Residents said they were really stunned with the tornado that lasted for about 10 minutes. Some of the roofs of the houses in the affected community were blown off, while some trees were uprooted.

The tornado, which damaged an estimated P1 million worth of properties, was followed by strong winds and rain.

City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) head Fatima Autor said assessment and validation of around 100 families affected by tornado are now being conducted by her team, Tempo reported.

Meanwhile, Barangay San Antonio Chairman Eugenio Ynion Jr. said they will provide roofing materials, as well as food and clothing, for the affected families.

Although experts admit there is really no such thing as guaranteed safety amidst a tornado when freak accidents happen, every family can still do something which increases the possibility of survival.

According to Storm Prediction Center, extremely violent EF5 tornados — which can blow away almost every house and occupant along its path — are very rare. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived by remembering a few safety reminders.

Every house must have a family tornado plan in place which should include:

Knowing where you can take shelter.  During a tornado, it is important to know where one can take shelter  in a matter of seconds. With this, a family tornado drill must be practiced at least once a year.

Knowing where each member can meet after. The family must have a pre-determined place where each member can meet after the disaster. Moreover, one should remember that flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes so it is important to store protective coverings — like mattress, sleeping bags, thick blankets among others — in or next to the shelter space, ready to use on a few seconds’ notice.

Being aware. When a tornado watch is issued, the family should think about the drill and make sure all the safety supplies are handy. Local TV and radio must be on so the members could stay alert for warnings.

Staying away from windows. One should forget about the old notion of opening windows to equalize pressure as the tornado itself will blast open the windows. If one shops frequently at certain stores, he must familiarize himself regarding where the bathrooms are — as well as  where storage rooms or other interior shelter areas away from windows are placed.

Moreover, administrators of schools, shopping centers, nursing homes, hospitals, sports arenas, stadiums, mobile home communities and offices should also have a tornado safety plan in place, with easy-to-read signs posted to direct everyone to a safe, nearby shelter area. Well-coordinated drills must also be ran by schools and office building managers.

Watch the news video from GMA’s Saksi: