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Commentary: People must not forget the lessons of Guinsaugon

Tacloban City (February 22) -- It has been three years since the occurrence of the Guinsaugon mudslide tragedy but its lessons must never be forgotten by humanity.

The Guinsaugon Landslide Tragedy paved the way for the people's realization of the gravity and importance of disaster preparedness in mitigating the effects and damage of disasters.

It also served as an eye opener for the adoption of more intense measures and programs that will ensure that the tragedy will not be repeated ever again.

The Guinsaugon Landslide Tragedy prompted no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to direct the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct rapid geo-hazards assessment and mapping activities on the disaster prone areas of Southern Leyte and the whole of Region 8.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau tapped the help of the geologists in the MGB units all over the Philippines to conduct the rapid assessment and mapping operations and the MGB team was able to beat the deadline set by the President on March 15, 2006.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has been constantly warning the concerned areas of the results of the rapid geo-hazards assessment the Bureau has conducted.

It is extremely alarming to learn after the MGB assessment tha 80 percent of the beautiful province of Southern Leyte, are disaster-prone. It took a directive from President Arroyo to identify the geo-hazardous places in the Leyte island provinces.

The provinces of Samar and Northern Samar because of their tectonic locations were also included in the rapid geohazards assessment. The Regional Development Council of Eastern Visayas, favorably endorsed the proposed Rapid Geological Hazards Assessment of Samar and Northern Samar for ODA funding.

The project which was completed by the Mines and Geoscience Bureau, aims to generate information on the susceptibility to geohazards of every barangay in the provinces of Samar and Northern Samar and make information available to concerned local government units and agencies responsible for land use planning and development, disaster management and mitigation.

With the results of the assessment already available to those concerned, it is hoped that remembering the Guinsaugon tragedy will move them to timely and accurate action. (PIA 8) [top]

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