Landslides feared in Koronadal villages

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Sept) – Government geologists have declared portions of an upland village in nearby Koronadal City as high-risk areas to landslides, especially during the rainy season.

Jaime Flores, chief geologist of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Region 12, said in a radio interview that five communities of Barangay Saravia in Koronadal City are currently at risk to landslides due to the area’s loosened ground surface.

He said the affected areas include Puroks Maunlad, Damsite and Sampaguita as well as Sitios Almutan and Crismus.

Flores said the heavy rains in the area triggered the landslide earlier this month that affected around 60 hectares of upland farms.

He said the landslides affected farming areas in Purok Maunlad and portions of Sitio Almutan.

Saravia officials declared the village under a state of calamity due to the landslides and flashfloods that occurred at the height of heavy rains in the area last September 1.

The incident prompted village officials to request for another assessment by the MGB of the affected areas to determine the safety of nearby communities.

Koronadal Mayor Peter Miguel earlier said a portion of the mountains at the upland portion of the village had collapsed, burying farms planted with sweet potato, cutflower and other agricultural crops.

The mayor said village officials reported that 10 houses sustained partial damages as a result of the landslides.

As precautionary measure, he said they evacuated some of the residents within the identified critical areas or danger zones into safer grounds and instituted an alarm system to help prepare them against possible disasters.

Gregorio Presga, Saravia barangay chair, said they will evaluate the MGB’s findings and later submit them to the city government for the necessary action.

“We will check whether there’s a need to evacuate the residents within the affected areas and recommend to the city government the establishment of a relocation site if needed later on,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)