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Half of Bicol area prone to flooding, landslides

LEGAZPI CITY—More than half of the towns in Bicol are prone to flood and landslides, prompting the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to warn people living in low-lying villages and near river channels, shorelines and mountain slopes to be extra cautious in the light of the creeping La Niña phenomenon.

Arlene Dayao, MGB chief geologist, said four of seven cities and 90 of 107 municipalities in Bicol are prone to floods and landslides as indicated by the geo-hazard mapping study conducted by the agency.

This means that more than half or 79 percent of the 114 local government units (seven cities and 107 municipalities) in Bicol are under threat of flood and landslides.

Susceptible to high and moderate landslide occurrences are 52 towns and the cities of Ligao and Sorsogon, while flooding are prone to 43 towns—including the cities of Legazpi, Tabaco, in Albay and Naga in Camarines Sur.

High landslide susceptibility means these areas are to be declared by the local government units as “no dwelling zones” as these are highly vulnerable to landslides.

In the moderate category are areas where dwelling and development of institutional, commercial and industrial sites may be allowed subject to detailed engineering geological and geohazard assessment.

All of three cities of Albay—Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco—are vulnerable to flood and landslides as well as 14 of its 15 towns, the MGB geo-hazard map showed.

The flood-prone towns are Bacacay, Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Libon, Malilipot, Malinao, Manito, Oas, Rapu-Rapu, Sto. Domingo, Pio Duran, Polangui and Tiwi.

Manito and the island-town of Rapu-Rapu are also landslide-prone areas.

In Camarines Sur, 22 of 35 municipalities aside from the city of Naga are prone to flooding and landslides. These are Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Bula, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Magarao, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Lupi, Pasacao, Presentacion, Sagnay, Sipocot, Pili, Ocampo, Tigaon and Tinambac.

In Camarines Norte, prone to landslides are the towns of Capalonga, Labo, Basud, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente and Sta. Elena.

Vulnerable to flooding are the towns of Talisay, Vinzons, Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Mercedes, and Paracale.

In Sorsogon, the towns facing risk of landslides are Juban, Magallanes, Matnog, Sta Magdalena and Bulan, and Sorsogon City while the towns of Juban, Barcelona, Bulan, Bulusan, Donsol, Irosin, Magallanes, Pilar, Prieto Diaz, and Sta. Magdalena are flood prone.

In Catanduanes, prone to landslides and flooding are all of the 11 towns of the island-province: Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, San Andres, San Miguel, Pandan, Panganiban, Viga and the capital, Virac.

In Masbate, the gold mining town of Aroroy as well as the municipalities of Baleno, Mandaon, Milagros and Mobo are at risk for landslide while only the town of Dimasalang is a flood- prone area.

The MGB has already distributed geo-hazard maps to various LGUs in Bicol so they should treat them as inputs for planning purposes and decision-making by the chief executives.

The geo-hazard maps provided to LGUs include the identification of danger zones for flooding, landslides and other disaster events and identify areas to be made as relocation sites.

Topics: Legazpi , Bicol , prone to flooding , landslides
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