Geohazard mapping done for 19 Soccsksargen areas

[h2] GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/16 April) — Government geologists have completed during the first quarter of the year the detailed geohazard mapping of two more municipalities in Region 12, bringing to 19 the number of localities in the region that had been covered by the initiative in the last two years. [/h2]

Constancio Paye Jr., Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Region 12 director, said Tuesday they are currently finalizing the detailed or 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps for the towns of Magpet in North Cotabato and Polomolok in South Cotabato, which were among the agency’s eight target areas in the region for this year’s mapping program.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Paye said the detailed maps would help identify some areas within the two municipalities that are threatened by potential geohazards.

He said they also established the parameters or features that may affect ground stability and the type of landslides that may possibly occur within the identified critical areas.

“We will later release copies of these maps to the two municipal governments, their barangays and other concerned agencies so they can use them as inputs for their disaster management plans and programs,” he said.

The official said they are set to conduct six more detailed mapping activities this year covering the towns of President Roxas and Alamada in North Cotabato; Sto. Nino and Surallah in South Cotabato; and Isulan and Lambayong in Sultan Kudarat.

Paye said they have completed the initial assessments and surveys for the detailed geohazard mapping in the six municipalities.

He said they will also conduct a groundwater assessment in the municipalities of Polomolok, Sto. Nino, Surallah and Banga in South Cotabato.

MGB launched the detailed geohazard mapping program in 2011 following the completion of the initial nationwide mapping at a scale of 1:50,000.

As of last December, MGB-12 had covered 17 areas in the region for the detailed mapping program, which is due for completion by 2014.

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

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the MGB’s mother unit, had allocated some P354 million for the conduct of the detailed geohazard mapping in various disaster-prone areas in the country.

The mapping program is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance the preparedness of local government units and the implementation of various mitigation measures against possible disasters that may occur in the areas. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)