GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 24 Feb) – The Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB) is set to conduct a comprehensive geological study to determine the real cause and extent of a coastal erosion that earlier hit a coastal community here.
Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief, said a team of geologists from the MGB central office will specifically conduct an inspection and assessment of the eroded shorelines of Purok Tinago in Barangay Dadiangas South.
He said the geologists will dive any moment this week into the huge opening that initially appeared at the shores of Purok Tinago last Feb. 15.
The assessment will involve an underwater survey and analysis of the shoreline’s stability through the use of a ground penetrating radar, he said.
“The results of the geological study will also be used for disaster-proofing and the implementation of appropriate interventions for the affected coastal communities,” Dacera said.
The city government forcibly evacuated 47 families from Purok Tinago following the emergence last week of the huge shoreline opening, which was initially feared to be a sinkhole.
It later decided to clear a bigger stretch of the coastline, specifically Puroks Islam and 9-A and 9-B of Tinago, due to the risks of another potentially-massive coastal erosion.
Citing an initial assessment made by MGB Region 12 personnel, Dacera said the phenomenon appears to be a case of “coastal subsidence” or erosion and not a sinkhole.
“A few meters from the shores of Tinago, there is an underwater precipice (steep cliff) around 25 meters deep. Throughout the years, the movement of the sea has eroded parts of this cliff, thus causing the erosion,” he explained.
Comparing it to a surface event, he said what happened in Purok Tinago is “definitely a landslide.”
The affected area is located near the pier and anchorage area of motorboats ferrying passengers and cargo to and from this city and Balut Island in Davao Occidental.
It is adjacent to the city’s Queen Tuna Park and several commercial establishments, including a hotel and a gasoline station, as well as a crowded residential community.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera had directed the temporary closure of the pier and the Queen Tuna Park.
The city’s Office of the Building Official also declared Purok Tinago and adjacent areas as a “no-build zone.”
Meantime, Dacera said the local government will proceed with the relocation starting this week of the affected families, which are currently taking temporary shelter at the covered court of the Irineo Santiago National High School.
He said 37 of the 47 families have initially qualified with the city government’s relocation program. The 10 other families were renters and not permanent residents of the area.
The 37 families will be transferred to the city’s resettlement site for informal settlers in Promise Land in Barangay Mabuhay, he said.
Dacera said the other families that were covered by the city government’s expanded mandatory evacuation order will be relocated later on in a three-hectare property in Purok Lanton in Barangay Apopong.