The Mines and Geosciences Bureau on Sunday urged local government officials and the public to exercise caution in landslide-prone areas following the magnitude 6.3 tremor that hit Mindanao last week.
“Earthquakes can loosen the top layer of soil, causing landslides,” MGB director Wilfredo Moncano said.
“It is more dangerous in high-slope areas, but can still be caused by earthquakes, depending on the intensity,” he added.
Apart from the communities in Mindanao which experienced the recent strong quake and its aftershocks, the MGB also tagged 18 areas that have high susceptibility for landslides all over the Philippines, namely Benguet, Mountain Province, Abra, Nueva Vizcaya, Davao Oriental, Ifugao, Aurora, Apayao, Quirino, Kalinga, Camiguin, Southern Leyte, Sarangani, Siquijor, Quezon, Bukidnon, Romblon and Negros Oriental.
Many of these provinces are part of the Cordillera Administrative Region, which hosts six of the 18 tagged areas.
“This is based on an assessment of a number of factors including altitude and capacity for debris to flow,” Moncano said.
He also issued a warning following the devastating effects of Typhoon “Hagibis” in Japan that took the lives at least 78 lives and left thousands homeless due to flooding and landslides.
“The risks of any natural disaster are reduced by preparation and proper dissemination of information,” he said.
“If Japan, a developed country that is already highly-prepared in times of natural disasters, still suffered severely in the wake of Hagibis, then we must really double our efforts to prepare in case of a similar typhoon,” he added.
Moncano said the MGB is ready to assist local government units in assessing their communities and preparing for geohazards, such as landslides and mudslides.