Monday, 6 February 2012

LGUs called on anew on geo-hazards

FOLLOWING the recent order of Environment and natural Resources Secretary Ramon J Paje, Bicol Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-V) OIC-Regional Director Luis B Loyola has renewed his call on local chief executives in Bicol to take heed of the warnings on the likelihood of occurrence of geological hazards given by the MGB-V.

"With the on-set of the rainy season during the last quarter of 2011 which normally continues until the month of February, more landslides and flashfloods are expected in identified disaster prone areas in Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte," Loyola said.

Loyola said the MGB-V has already completed the geohazard mapping and assessment of the Bicol Region in 2010 leading to the producation of 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps. 

"We have distributed these maps to most local government units to integrate preparedness and mitigation, including possible relocation or evacuation into their local disaster risk reduction planning" Loyola explained.

"All 113 municipalities and cities regionwide were covered in the MGB-V 1:50,000 scale geohazard mapping program," Loyola said.

Loyola also said the geohazard mapping program of the DENR is continuing with the launching last year of another major project to produce 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps for flood and landslide-prone areas nationwide. 

"This project is called the densification of geohazard and climate change maps which aims to produce geohazard maps with scale of 1:10,000 covering critical areas to show more details of the area covered by the map," Loyola explained.

"It is like zooming in on the 1:50,000 scale geohazard maps previously produced by the Bureau's regional offices to see the details of the area which cannot be represented in the 1:50,000 scaled geohazard maps" Loyola said.

He added that among the details that can be found in a 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps include location of populations at risk, parameters or features in the area that may affect ground stability and the type of landslides that can possibly occur. 

"For example the relocation sites can be plotted, which cannot be done in the 1:50,000 scale maps" Loyola further said.

"Selected municipalities and or cities in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate in Bicol will be covered in the densification project," Loyola pointed out.

Loyola recalled the signing of a Memorandum of agreement (MOA) last August 17, 2011 in Manila by and between Environmental and Natural Resources Secretary Paje and Albay Gov. Jose S Salceda to assess all cities and municipalities in Albay for landslide and flood hazard risks.

"The cities of Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco and the municipalities of Libon, Polangui, Jovellar, Bacacay, Malilipot, Manito, Sto. Domingo, Oas, Pio Duran, Malinao, Rapu-rapu and Tiwi will be assessed to enable these local Government Units (LGUs) to further strengthen their disaster risk reduction plans" Loyola said.

"The MoA tasked the DENR, throught the MGB, to conduct geohazard mapping on a scale of 1:10,000, assess and evaluate landslide and flood prone areas, assist in disseminating information on landslide and flood hazards and develop flood hazard and landslide hazard models for the most vulnerable areas in the province of Albay, among others for a year standing last year up to this year" Loyola further said.

Loyola also said that an assenssment team composed of geologist and tecnical personnel from the MGB Central Office and in Bicol have already assessed the Cities of Ligao and Tabaco and the Municipalities of Plangui, Sto. Domingo, Malinao and Tiwi and the assessment of the Municipality of Libon is ongoing.

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