‘Condemned’ creek possible cause of shoreline erosion in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 February) — The massive shoreline erosion at a coastal community here that earlier triggered the evacuation of 46 families could be due to the re-emergence of a “condemned” creek in the area, a city official said.

Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) head, said Friday their initial studies showed that the eroded area along the shores of Purok Tinago in Barangay Dadiangas South here was within the path of a creek that once flowed from the inner portions of the city.

He said the presence of the waterway in the area in the previous years was indicated in an old map of the city.

“Historically, there’s actually a creek along that area. But it’s no longer there as it was overcome by land developments,” he said.

Citing established geological studies, Dacera said closed or condemned waterways like creeks and rivers would re-merge over time and assume their previous paths.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of Region 12 had noted such findings in its assessment of previous flooding incidents along portions of the critical Allah River in South Cotabato and in several other waterways.

“Geologists would always say that water will always find a way to come out,” he said.

But the official said such observation is still subject to validation and confirmatory studies by geology experts.

MGB-12 geologists are scheduled to inspect and assess the area next week to determine the nature and what caused the coastal erosion, which was initially feared to be a sinkhole.

The shoreline opening initially emerged early Sunday morning and has since continued to expand.

The local government initially evacuated 46 households that were settled near the affected area but later decided to clear a bigger stretch of the coastline due to the risks of another potentially massive coastal erosion.

The forced evacuation or relocation will cover around 1,000 households in Puroks Islam and 9-A and 9-B of Tinago.

“We will continue with the relocation of the residents since there is a continuing threat and the area is considered unstable,” Dacera said.

He said the local government will no longer allow any settlement or the building of housing and related structures in the area.

The city’s Office of the Building Official has already declared the affected area as a “no-build zone,” he said.

In its initial assessment earlier this week, the MGB-12 said the huge hole that emerged at the shores of Purok Tinago here could have been caused by the degeneration of coralline limestones situated underneath the area’s shoreline.

Roger Tamayo, MGB-12 mining engineer, said the breakdown of the limestones triggered the erosion of its sand covering that eventually appeared liked that of a sinkhole.

He added that could not be considered a sinkhole as there was no “igniter” like an earthquake that happened before it appeared. (MindaNews)