Guinobatan lahar slide not linked to quarrying — Albay gov

Published November 4, 2020, 11:45 AM

by Noreen Jazul

The lahar slide in Guinobatan which buried a number of houses in the area was not linked to quarrying operations in the province, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara said on Wednesday.

(Gov. Al Bichara / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with ANC, Bichara said the lahar cascaded from Mayon Volcano.

“After the lahar slide in Guinobatan, we did some aerial survey and actually it came from the top, the slope of Mayon,” Bichara said.

“Within the six-kilometer radius, there is no quarrying, no operations, nothing, so there is an enormous supply of volcanic debris,” the Albay governor added.

Bichara said lahar slides have happened in the province since 2006 during Typhoon “Reming” when there were lesser quarrying operations in the province.

He also doubted that the operators left their stockpiles in the middle of the river as reported by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

“I doubt it because no operator… it’s always raining so no operator will stockpile in the middle of the river and put it on the side. They will have to save what they worked for kasi (because) it’s the rainy season. Sinong maglalagay doon eh mawawala rin ‘yan sayang yung efforts nila, yung trabaho nila (who will stockpile there when it will be just a waste of effort and work),” Bichara said.

He added that while stopping quarrying operations will “worsen” the province’s situation given the pandemic when there is not much livelihood for the people, he said he will abide by the President’s order.

“Suspendidhin ko muna para wala ng masyadong controversial na issue (I will suspend it right away so that there will no longer be controversy),” Bichara said in another interview with DZMM.