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PIA Press Release

Families in 4 barangays to be relocated away from geo-hazards

by JMD Abangan

Davao City (14 June) -- Some 200 families in four barangays in the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental would be relocated due to impending landslide. Diana Christina Velasco, senior geologist of the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) 11 during the Ugnayan sa Royal Mandaya Hotel revealed that one barangay each in the municipalities of Boston and Mati in Davao Oriental; and in the municipalities of Mawab and Montevista in Compostela Valley are most prone to landslide.

A barangay in Davao Oriental lies on top of a fault-line while the rest are naturally landslide-prone areas, Velasco said.

Results of the intensive geo-hazard mapping conducted by MGB showed perilous situations of areas prone to flood, landslides, liquefaction and other geologic dangers.

Liquefaction happens during earthquakes when "soil takes on fluid form, unable to support any structure," Velasco explained. Velasco said identifying geo-hazard areas is part of the three-year National Geo-hazard Mapping Program which receives P100 million funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Velasco said MGB 11 had already completed the 50 percent target geo-hazard mapping in Region 11 covering Davao Oriental which she cited as the "most prone area in the region in terms of geologic hazard," being located in a fault-line.

MGB geo-hazard mapping also include the municipalities of Mawab, Monkayo, Montevista, Compostela and Mabini in Compostela Valley; Jose Abad Santos, Malita and Don Marcelino in Davao del Sur; flood-prone areas in Davao del Norte and in Davao City where MGB had made a terrain analysis.

Areas were prioritized according to elements at stake, meaning where there are settlements, large-scale investments and possible huge damage to lives and properties should geo-hazard tragedies occur, Velasco explained. MGB has gone down to the sitio and barangay level in an effort to foster close coordination with locals in communities found prone to geological dangers.

"We immediately talk to local leaders, to mayors about the possible danger in their area. Our aim is to raise awareness on geologic hazards among residents," she said. Results of geo-hazard mapping is also being shared with the Regional Development Council, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council, Office of Civil Defense, local leaders. "We are not the only one involved in managing disaster," Velasco said.

MGB is recommending to concerned local government units (LGUs) of areas prone to geologic hazards to integrated findings of geo-hazard mapping in their local land use plans, Velasco added. (PIA XI) [top]

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