Tornado destroys village; 50 die
in Southern Leyte
By Philippine News Service
– After heavy rains loosened the soil and triggered landslides that
killed 200 in Southern Leyte, a tornado destroyed a remote barangay on a
nearby island, leaving at least 50 people dead and 394 families homeless.
The tornado’s powerful, twisting windstorm in contact with the
ground and a cloud base swept away at least 60 homes in Barangay Pinut-an,
San Ricardo, Panaon island about the same time a massive landslide struck
the neighboring towns of Liloan, San Francisco
and San Vicente Friday night.
A report from Mercedes Aberilla of the provincial social
welfare and development office (PSWDO) in Maasin City said the dead in
Barangay Pinut-an included former San Ricardo mayor Vicente Mejia, husband
of the incumbent mayor.
The toll in Barangay Pinut-an could rise because a number of
people remain missing.
In San Francisco, rescue teams recovered and identified at least 33 people;
others remain unidentified. Their bodies were laid on the town plaza,
Health authorities supervising rescue operations here are
complaining of a lack of formalin to mask the stench of decomposing
To prevent the spread of diseases, relief officials said they
would bury unclaimed bodies after three days.