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PIA Press Release
2009/02/17

DENR 8 directs field offices to disseminate results of geohazard mapping to concerned LGUs

Tacloban City (February 17) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 8 under the leadership of Regional Executive Director Regidor M. de Leon, recently directed its different field offices region wide to disseminate the result of the geohazard mapping conducted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, so that necessary precautions and preparations can be made by the concerned local government units.

Ms. Purificacion Daloos, DENR Information Officer, said, the instruction was made amidst the unpredictable weather condition being experienced not only in Region 8 but also in different parts of the country, causing heavy rains, storms, changing ocean temperatures, among others. Occurrence of these weather anomalies further results to landslides and flooding which cause unprecedented loss of lives and properties.

Just last early morning of Saturday, February 14, about 13 barangays of the municipality of Jipapad experienced 5 to 6 meters deep flooding.

"We do not want our citizens to suffer more as they did in the past tragedies. They should be given information and guidance on what to do before, during and after the occurrence of natural calamities," RED de Leon said.

"On the other hand, our citizens, guided as they are, should be prepared, alert and should always heed the warnings of proper authorities in their respective localities," RED de Leon added.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Loreto Alburo, in a phone patch with the Philippine Information Agency, disclosed that the Bureau has already conducted information drives in the different municipalities and barangays in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran in Region 8.

Maps containing susceptibility rating of the barangays, as to landslide and flood prone areas, are already available at the respective LGUs, Director Alburo said.

For the three Samar provinces, the MGB is still in the process of digitizing the maps. Pending the result of the digitized maps, RD Alburo stressed that the MGB staff initially furnished assessment reports and advisories during exit conferences conducted by the MGB to the respective local government units.

Director Alburo said that MGB personnel are closely working the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Councils and other agencies especially in high risk areas.

MGB has identified the barangays throughout the region as high, moderate, low and non risk to floods and landslides, Director Alburo said. These data are necessary for the preparation of disaster preparedness and mitigation plans even at the barangay level.

For his part, RED de Leon said that natural calamities and disasters are usually known to bring havoc to the lives of residents especially in identified geologically hazardous areas. Though the occurrence of natural calamities cannot be prevented, their adverse effect can be mitigated.

If there is a need to repeat these warnings, time and again, the DENR will do so, RED de Leon stressed. If there is a need to relocate residents in high risk areas, then do it, if only to provide safety to the citizens. But there are always best plans to help our residents, De Leon said. (PIA 8) [top]

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