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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 06, 2012


PDRRMO removes obstruction in river near Lake Maughan

by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, Jan 6 (PIA) -- South Cotabato’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has began operations to remove an obstruction that has caused damming of a river near the outlet of Lake Maughan in Mt. Parker, T’boli town.

John Lorca, a staff of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said at least 15 persons including technical experts from Department of Public Works and Highways, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Provincial Environment Management Office, and the local government unit of T’boli cleared away yesterday at least 10 feet of stone debris that have blocked part of Luhan River, about six kilometers from the lake’s outlet.

Lorca said the damming started on December 26 following a landslide in the area.

The resulting artificial dam “has an area of 15 by 25 feet and depth of 15 feet.”

Lorca added some cliffs in the area have some cracks that could collapse and aggravate the situation if the obstruction is not immediately removed.

On December 29, Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. called an emergency meeting of the PDRRMC to discuss solutions to the problem and prevent its escalation which could mean disaster to areas downstream.

The council ordered immediate removal of the obstruction. Since the area cannot be accessed by machineries, the stone debris that have formed the embankment are being removed manually.

Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator and PDRRMO head Isidro Janita assured the situation in Lake Maughan “is not alarming, ” but added that flashflood could still occur during continuous and heavy rains and if it’s outlet is blocked.

Since the weather has become very unpredictable, Janita added, they have hired four persons whose jobs is to regularly monitor the conditions of the lake.

Lately, these workers removed a mass of floating vegetation to prevent it from blocking Maughan’s outlet.

Lake Maughan empties into Luhan River, which is a tributary of Allah River.

In September, 1995 a wall of Lake Maughan collapsed, resulting in flashfloods that killed about 100 people and damaged millions worth of crops and properties. (PIA 12)

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