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PIA Press Release
2009/02/04

NVizcaya mining firm denies exploration caused flashfloods in 2006

Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya (4 February) -- The flashfloods caused by typhoon "Paeng" in 2006 was not triggered by the exploration activities of the FC Mining Corporation (FMC) officials here said.

"Our exploration in barangay Runruno did not cause the flashflood in the village and the Mines and Geo Sciences Bureau can attest to this," stressed Dr. Ernesto Mendoza, FMC vice president for corporate affairs.

Mendoza made the statement to denounce a media report blaming the company for the 2006 flashflood in the village where scores of villagers died and their houses were buried and destroyed.

He said that it was the company on the other hand who first responded to the calamity, deploying 100 of its personnel to rescue and rehabilitation efforts and bringing the sick to medical centers through a helicopter.

Couple Tony and Flora Guillao, who ventured into gold panning in the 1960s along with their relatives said the indiscriminate tunneling and deforestation on the Mt. Palali mountain range has softened the soil which triggered the flashflood.

"Trees are being cut within the mountain just to be used as reinforcements of tunnels by gold panners in the area so that these will not collapse," the couple said.

In its December 2006 report on the aftermath of the flashflood, Marinelle Monteclaro, senior geologist and Felicitas Piligan, supervising geologist of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau(MGB) noted that the vulnerability of the site to natural hazards has been aggravated by the absence of the right vegetal cover that will hold the soil to prevent its erosion.

They also cited the indiscriminate practice of small scale mining or locally known as "Camote mining" in the area as a contributory activity to its highly susceptible condition where dumping of used clays are seen along the creeks.

The geologists also noted that the area had been struck by flashfloods, landslides and debris flows.

They also recommended that the village be relocated to a safer ground and avoid development works at the confluence of sitios Kinalabasa and Sulong creeks. (bme/PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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