By Joseph Jubelag
KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – The Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau has advised affected residents in quake-stricken villages in North Cotabato to undertake forced evacuation amid the brewing hazards of tension cracks and landslides caused by a series of strong earthquakes that jolted Mindanao last month.
MGB regional director Felizardo Gacad said MGB personnel had conducted geo-hazard assessment on the quake affected areas in the town of M’lang, Makilala and Tulunan and found out that the quake-induced cracks and landslides can be aggravated by rains and succeeding tremors that may hit these areas.
He said there are about 70 villages in Makilala, Tulunan and M’lang towns affected by cracks and landslides which destroyed more than 300 residential houses.
MGB personnel are closely coordinating with local disaster risk reduction management offices to implement forced evacuation within the affected areas and provide a safe relocation area for the affected residents.
The MGB has tapped several mining companies to conduct relief and rescue operations in the quake-stricken areas.
Disaster officials said the three strong earthquakes that hit several areas in Mindanao since October 16 had claimed at least 22 lives and displaced some 30,000 families in North Cotabato.
Flash flood feared
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) 11 fears of a possible flashflood along the Bugac River in Barangay San Jose in Kiblawan town, Davao del Sur following the successive strong earthquakes in Mindanao.
MGB-Davao issued the statement based on its continuous monitoring and assessment in different areas, particularly on remote areas of the region.
Beverly Mae Brebante, officer-in-charge of the Geosciences Division under MGB-Davao, said the river damming was attributed to the earthquake-induced landslide wherein debris material were deposited along the river channel blocking the river flow.
“This resulted to the accumulation of surface water in the upstream side of the river with an approximate depth of 8 feet. The excavation will prevent the occurrence of flashflood,” Brebante said.
To prevent the occurrence of the possible disaster, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 11, the local government unit (LGU) of Kiblawan, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 11 and MGB-11 held a meeting for an appropriate plan of action in the excavation of the river damming. (with a report from Ivy Tejano)