115 houses threatened by landslide in Bontoc village

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Bontoc, Mountain Province May 07 – Possible widening of cracks along the surface of the mountains above Sitios Khefa and Pawek in Barangay Samoki of this municipality may trigger landslides threatening 115 residential houses, the old Catholic church, an elementary school and a day care center situated at the foot of the mountain.
This was the result of the ocular inspection conducted by geologists of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau – Cordillera Administrative Region (MGB-CAR), accompanied by personnel of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the affected residents recently.
Prior to this, Governor Leonard G. Mayaen who is also the chair of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) requested the MGB-CAR to conduct an ocular inspection following the report of the Khefa-Pawek Parents Movement Organization that rocks from the mountain roll down the village and cracks were seen on the surface of the mountain.
The residents shared that they could not sleep peacefully at night especially when it rains or when typhoons hit the province because of fear of rock slides and soil erosion that will subsequently burry their houses and result to loss of lives and inflict serious damage to properties.
Supervising Geologist Benigno Ceasar L. Espejo of MGB-CAR after the ocular inspection said that cracks are evident on a portion of the mountain above the threatened village. Also, there has been indication of ground movement in the past which may possibly be repeated, causing landslides as the soil is loose. He added that the ground could move to the right, left or downward direction causing a massive landslide. However, the MGB has yet to assess how wide possible landslides actually threaten.
Espejo advised residents to evacuate their residential houses and move to safer places especially if it rains continuously for three days, or in the event of an earthquake, to prevent possible loss of lives.
Mayaen ordered the provincial risk reduction management council to already prepare the required disaster mitigating efforts that will be undertaken in the area in order to prevent the loss of lives and damage to properties during the onslaught of heavy rains and typhoons that would affect the stability of the place.
He also said the local government will try to study the possibility of extending assistance to the affected families to facilitate their possible relocation once the situation in their place contiu7es to worsen needing urgent measures to be put in place.
MGB-CAR officials explained mountainous slopes are characterized by the existence of cracks which could worsen in the future with the introduction of natural and man-made interventions that would pose serious danger to life and limb.
Espejo advised people living in mountain slopes to immediately report to their office the existence of fractures and cracks in their places so that experts could immediately visit such places and conduct the required evaluation whether or not the cracks pose a serious threat to life and limb or the need to institute the proper mitigating measures would be enough to spare the affected residents from being exposed to eminent danger.By Alpine L. Killa

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