In the hope to minimize damage and achieve zero casualties, disaster-control and environment agencies call on local government units to review the geohazard maps and execute preventive measures as the threat of La Nina looms.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau – Central Visayas (MGB-7) Regional Director Loreto Alburo said that reacting after crisis won’t work anymore and that the lack of preparedness must be set to change.
The bureau has already mapped out flood and landslide prone areas in all towns and cities in Central Visayas and urged local government officials to warn and dedicate assistance for relocation of families and establishments in these hazard zones to reduce the risk of disasters.
During the kick-off of the National Disaster Consciousness Month held at the Bayfront Hotel in Cebu City, Al Emil Berador, Geosciences Division chief of MGB-7 said that both landslides and floods have an immense impact on lives, livelihood, and properties.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) Visayas chief Oscar Tabada said that La Niña has started last June and will intensify in the months of October to December. The La Niña phenomenon is expected to last until February next year.
“The effect of La Niña is more destructive when it comes to lives and properties than El Niño. Central Visayas is considered a high risk area for La Niña up to 2080,” Tabada said.
He added that for this year alone, at least 14 cyclones are expected to arrive.
The geohazard maps given to the local government units by the MGB-7 will serve as an early warning sign for them to take proper action.
“We strongly urge you to take careful attention to those areas declared as ‘highly susceptible’ to either landslide or flooding. Your constituents living along rivers and coastal areas are at high risk to flooding and storm surge hazards while those living on sloping areas and along the foot slopes of mountains are susceptible to rain-induced landslide,” Alburo told the mayors in an advisory sent last month.
Urban flooding in low-lying areas is caused mostly by constricted rivers and clogged waterways.
Aside from these geohazard maps, MGB has also conducted Karst Subsidence Hazard Assessment and Mapping in the Province of Bohol. It was found that several areas in the province of Bohol have underground cavities and are susceptible to subsidence or ground collapse.
These cavities are common in limestone areas such in Bohol, Siquijor and Cebu provinces.
Some of the major flood prone areas:
Cebu City’s Downtown area (Colon and waterfront areas)
Tagunol to Pardo area
North Reclamation Area (Mahiga creek area)
River banks along Mananga, Sapangdaku and Guadalupe rivers
Paknaan, CICC, North reclamation area in Mandaue City
Along the national highway from Consolacion to Compostela
Loboc, Guindulman-Candijay, Inabangga River
Landslide-prone areas in Cebu
All mountain barangays in Cebu City
Cebu Transcentral Highway
Manipis road in Talisay