Waterspout tornado rips through coastal homes in the Philippines

This is the dramatic moment a huge waterspout tornado ripped through dozens of coastal homes in the Philippines. Resident Grace Sanchez Rodriguez captured the waterspout tearing along the shoreline at the village of Solar in Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay, on June 27. She said: ‘We were all surprised by the speed and we didn’t know where it was going to land. Also, almost all the houses here are made of light wood.’ Meanwhile, Jecile Batucan took the video after a strong tornado hit their home. She said: ‘It was so scary because we didn’t expect it to be very strong and our house was wrecked.’ Engineer Lloyd Franza, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer of Zamboanga Sibugay, confirmed the waterspout damaged two small boats and five houses and injured two residents. The residents fled to the evacuation site but later returned home when authorities declared it was safe to go back. Fairweather waterspouts like that seen in the video are most commonly found in subtropical areas and usually disappear shortly after they come into contact with land. They form when winds merge from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin. Sudden warm air at the surface causes the spinning air to rotate faster and it starts to rise – picking up water at the same time. Sometimes the air spins so fast that it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thunderstorm cloud above. Waterspouts are generally not dangerous but they can be a risk for aircraft flying through the area and for coral reefs and marine life in the water immediately below. Sailors should also try to avoid waterspouts – as the consequences of floating into one could be disastrous.

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