There is a way to identify the geologic hazards present in an area where subdivision, housing, and other infrastructure development projects will be constructed for safety purposes.

This, as the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 recently urged all contractors, planners, and developers to undertake a complete and detailed engineering geological and geohazard assessment (EGGA) before putting a certain infrastructure or building.

The call was made following a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that jolted Central Visayas last Oct. 15 which resulted to the collapse of cave roof of a number of sinkholes, and numerous tension cracks developed affecting some schools and displaced communities in some towns and a city in Bohol Province.

“The conduct of an EGGA is essentially aimed at identifying the possible geologic hazards that occur within and adjacent areas of a development project,” MGB 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo said.

Geologic hazards or geohazards refer to natural and man-induced geological processes that have potential to cause destruction and pose a threat to man’s life and property.

Geohazards are those areas which could be landslide or flood-prone, presence of sinkholes, natural depression and ground subsidence.

“The mapping or assessment to be prepared by a private geologist should give careful attention to the lithology, structural elements, and three-dimensional distribution of the earth materials exposed or inferred within the area,” he added.

In most hillside areas and sloping terrain, Alburo articulated that these materials should include bedrock and surficial deposits.

“It would include but not limited to the resorts, recreational facilities, golf courses, buildings especially multi-storey, roads, bridges, schools, and others,” Alburo added.

“By undertaking a thorough EGGA, the proponent would be able to adequately and comprehensively address and mitigate the possible effects or impacts of geologic hazards by instituting measures like drainage and slope stabilization controls,” DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said.

While ensuring safety, Montejo advised prospective buyers of any subdivision or condominium units to always ask whether the area has been mapped for geohazards and what structural engineering measures were established.

The DENR Administrative Order No. 2000-28 requires in addition to the requirement for the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) as provided for under Presidential Decree No. 1586, all proponents of subdivision development projects, housing projects and other land development and infrastructure projects, private or public, shall undertake an EGGA.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported a death toll of 222 with 796 injured and eight missing as of Oct. 31.