MGB to expand geohazard mapping in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 Dec) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is set to expand by next year its continuing detailed geohazard mapping program to eight more municipalities in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region.

Constancio Paye Jr., MGB-Region 12 director, said the upcoming detailed geohazard mapping, which is set at 1:10,000 scale, is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance the region’s preparedness and implementation of various mitigation measures against possible disasters that may occur in the area.

He said the mapping will cover the municipalities of Magpet, President Roxas and Alamada in North Cotabato; Polomolok, Sto. Nino and Surallah in South Cotabato; and, Isulan and Lambayong in Sultan Kudarat.

Aside from the detailed geohazard mapping, Paye said MGB-12 will also conduct a groundwater assessment in the municipalities of Polomolok, Sto. Nino, Surallah and Banga towns in South Cotabato.

The official said the agency has so far completed the initial assessments and surveys for the detailed geohazard mapping of the eight municipalities.

He said the initiative aims to produce geohazard maps at more detailed or condensed scale covering their disaster-prone areas.

Two years ago, the MGB-12 completed the region’s initial geohazard mapping program at a scale of 1:50,000.

“We will be taking a closer look on these areas so we can have a clearer view or assessment of their vulnerabilities,” he said.

Of the areas that will be covered by the detailed mapping, Isulan and Lambayong were considered as among the most vulnerable to disasters, specifically flashfloods, in the past several years.

Both municipalities were traversed by the critical Allah River, which had caused severe flooding in the area during the rainy season.

For this year, the MGB-12 already completed the 1:10,000 geohazard mapping of six municipalities in the region.

In 2011, the agency covered eight areas for the mapping program, which is due for completion by 2014.

The areas with completed detailed geohazard maps are the municipalities of Malungon, Glan, Alabel, and Maasim in Sarangani; Tampakan, Banga, T’boli, Lake Sebu and Tupi in South Cotabato; Bagumbayan, Columbio and Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat; and the cities General Santos and Koronadal.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The DENR earlier allocated some P354 million for the conduct of the detailed geo-hazard mapping in various disaster-prone areas in the country starting this year.

The agency said among the details that would be established through the three-year mapping program are parameters or features that may affect ground stability and the type of landslides that may possibly occur within the identified critical areas. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)