Twister causes heavy downpour in Tacloban

Posted at 05/26/12 9:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A tornado was spotted near an airport in Tacloban on Saturday afternoon.

The tornado formed off the shores of Tacloban near the DZR airport at 1:45 p.m. and brought heavy rains in the area.

Airport security Jose Mario Jabiñar said he witnessed the “twister” taking shape over the sea before it eventually vanished.

“Nakita namin na ang ipu-ipo ay mula sa dagat na ulap, pataas sa langit  na may nagco-connect,” Jabiñar said in a local dialect.

The tornado lasted for 15 minutes.

A heavy downpour followed minutes later, causing the cancellation of several flights due to low visibility.

Most of the flights affected were those bound to Cebu.

Local thunderstorm 

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the rains that followed the tornado is called a “local thunderstorm.”

PAGASA’s Romeo Elvina said it would be very risky to fly during local thunderstorms as the strong air pressure could suck the airplanes upward.

“Hinihigop ang init o pressure patungo sa itaas, kaya ‘yan ang dahilan sa waterspout o buhawi,” said Elvina.

The phenomenon has brought down 84.4 millimeters of water, which is equivalent to a month’s rain in the area. -- With a report from Ranulfo Docdocan, ABS-CBN Tacloban