All 80 barangays in Cebu City are called on to come up with mitigating measures for sinkholes and subterranean caverns.

This after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas found out at least 770 sinkholes in the urban barangays. The data based on MGB’s subsidence hazard assessment earlier this year were presented before the City Council last Tuesday.

“Gihangyo nato ang mga barangay sa paghimo na og mga lakang sama sa pagpahibaw sa publiko sa sitwasyon, unsay piligro sa ilahang lugar ug pagmugna og disaster preparedness plan sa kada barangay,” Councilor David Tumulak said.

MGB has opted not to disclose the sites of the sinkholes since it doesn’t want to cause panic among the public.

Tumulak, also the chairman of the council’s committee on public order and safety, assured though the public that there is no reason to panic.  The existence of sinkholes is a natural phenomenon and they exist even long before, he said.

“Ato lang klarohon nga it doesn’t necessarily mean nga the entire barangay duna’y specific sitios, so ang atong barangay should focus on the sitio itself para pud not to create panic to the entire community,” he said.

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The recent MGB survey showed that the city’s soil is composed mostly of limestone and is therefore vulnerable to the formation of sinkholes.

A sinkhole is caused by water erosion that provides a route for surface water to disappear underground.

It is formed by water from rainfall that absorbs carbon dioxide, making the water acidic, which results to the formation of voids and cavities. When the cavities continue to grow they weaken the overlying materials around and a sinkhole would form.

By having disaster preparedness plan, Tumulak said, it would help prevent casualties and damages to the community.

“So og duna sa’y future plans ang barangay or any individual to construct a structure at least they are all aware nga dili na siya suitable for high rise building, only suitable for two-story light material building,” he added.

He said the barangays have already been informed about the sinkholes through a letter dated March 30. / The Freeman