Residents in upland areas in Lake Sebu warned of hazards due to ground fissures

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 Oct) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 12 has recommended the relocation of residents in three upland communities in Lake Sebu town due to the hazards posed by the presence of ground fissures or tension cracks in the area.

Ariel Austin Acosta, MGB-12 senior geologist, said Thursday their assessment showed that the affected areas in Barangay Lamcade in Lake Sebu are considered as highly vulnerable to landslides.

He specifically cited portions of Sitios T’bob, Bong and Tekansad in Lamcade where the tension cracks initially emerged about three weeks ago.

MGB-12 and South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) personnel earlier conducted an ocular inspection and assessment of the affected sites.

Acosta said they tracked the global positioning system or GPS location of the three communities and found out that they are within the “red zone” of the geo-hazard map.

He explained that areas within a “red zone” are considered as highly susceptible to geo-hazards, and in the case of Lamcade, to landslides.

The ground cracks could aggravate due to the continuing rainy season and eventually cause landslides in the area, he said.

“Based on these findings, we recommended the relocation of the affected residents there to safer areas,” Acosta said.

The Lake Sebu Municipal DDRRM Office earlier said around 60 families in Lamcade are considered at risk to the presence of the tension cracks based on their assessment.

The local government had launched a series of information and education activities to properly inform residents about the dangers posed by the tension cracks.

Aside from Lake Sebu, Acosta said they are closely monitoring several upland or mountainous areas in South Cotabato due to the possible occurrence of major landslides.

He cited portions of Koronadal City and the municipalities of Tampakan, Tupi, Polomolok and T’boli.

“We already alerted barangay officials and residents within the identified red zones in these areas,” he said. (MindaNews)