Hot springs emerge after quake in South Cotabato

Tboli, South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 October) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is closely monitoring a village in Tboli town due to the emergence of ground hot springs in the area following an earthquake late last month.

Rolly Doane Aquino, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said on Thursday they documented at least four hot or sulfur springs that came out in parts of Barangay Lamhaku.

He said Lamhaku, along with Barangay Lambuling, were the epicenters of a magnitude 4 tectonic earthquake that hit the area last Sept. 29.

“We found the hot springs within the communities there, with the water actually boiling and smelling sulfuric,” he said in a virtual press briefing.

Several areas in Tboli, which hosts the active volcano Mt. Melibingoy (formerly Parker), also have several existing hot springs that were developed into tourist attractions.

Video footage of the PDRRMO’s recent visit to the area showed that the springs emerged from portions of the ground that eroded as a result of the quake.

A number of houses, school buildings, and other structures in the area sustained various cracks following the temblor at 5:27 p.m., which had a depth of four kilometers.

Aquino said a team from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) already conducted a site assessment and validation but has yet to release its findings and possible recommendations.

He said it will serve as the basis for the local government’s other interventions in the area, especially for the affected residents.

During their site assessment last Oct. 1, the Phivolcs team conducted orientations for residents of Lamhaku and Lambuling regarding the impact of the quake.

Last Monday, personnel from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 12 and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Tboli conducted a risk assessment and profiling of affected households in the area. (MindaNews)