Tornado hits Tacloban’s DZR airport vicinity

Tacloban City, Philippines – To the people who witnessed it, it was like an instant Yolanda (Haiayan) repeat while swirling winds with almost a kilometre in diameter hurled the seawaters of Cancabato Bay and any solid object within its path to the air few meters from the DZR Airport in Tacloban City at about 4p.m. on 2 July 2016.

Huge Tornado in Tacloban's DZR Airport caught on camera. (Grabbed from Cesar Ian Tabuyan's video posted in Facebook.
"Tornado" was the quick description of the witnesses. It started and held its position for 20 minutes while moving towards the runway area. Before landfall, it just dissipated. No one was reported harmed. 

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has yet to come up with an official statement on the weather phenomenon which literally lifted thousands of gallons of sea water along the bay. 

Cesar Ian Tabuyan, a Cebu Pacific employee, was able to capture the occurrence and his video went viral in Facebook right after the incident. 

“Huna ko katapusan na (I thought it was already the end),” Tabuyan said in his FB post. 

JayDi Laviña, another witness who was also at the airport’s pre-daparture area, said that they were wondering why all of a sudden strong winds came rushing in. 

“Mayda nagtaghoy ha gawas asya nagkagawas kami kadali (Somebody whistled from the outside so we went out),” he narrated. The “tornado” or “buhawi” in local dialect apparently was so strong while it was on water. Witnesses say it could have caused massive destruction if it made a landfall. 

“Nakita gud kami nga gin aalsa an tubig ha dagat (We actually saw that the sea water was being lifted),” Laviña said. Raindrops eventually became salty in the downtown area of the city. 

Weather experts say that the deadly phenomenon in Tacloban was actually a supercell. 

A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft. For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms. 

Supercells can transpire in any part of the world subsequent to weather conditions but they are most common in the Great Plains of the United States in an area known as Tornado Alley and in the Tornado Corridor of Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. 

This phenomenon has already claimed countless lives and caused massive destructions in these parts of America.(Bryan Azura)
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