CEBU CITY, Philippines—Another sinkhole, which might have been triggered by a strong earthquake that struck Central and Western Visayas on February, was reported in Dalaguete town, 85 kilometers south of this city.
The sinkhole, located in Sitio Carpo, Barangay Casay, was reported to the police on Thursday by concerned residents after the natural cavity was observed to have expanded to a diameter of 10 meters.
Barangay captain Joseph Belamia said a cattle-raiser initially told him about the sinkhole on February 8, two days after the 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the provinces of Negros Oriental and Cebu.
Belamia said they could not determine the sinkhole’s present depth but claimed it had swallowed around 30 banana plants.
For safety reasons, local authorities have cordoned off the area to keep curious onlookers out as the sinkhole might further increase in size.
The first sinkhole, which was discovered in a farm in Barangay Cambuang, Dumanjug town on Feb. 17, has reached a diameter of 20 meters.
Farm caretaker Walter Pesablong, in an earlier report, said the hole had started out the size of a frying pan and in a matter of hours grew to 20 meters in diameter as the soil moved and cracks formed around it.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) could not yet determine the depth of the Dumanjug sinkhole due to lack of proper equipment.
MBG-7 personnel also checked on the swirling seawater–alarmed residents likened it to boiling water– reportedly seen 50 meters from the shoreline of Barangay Looc.
Looc is 3 kilometers from Cambuang.
Abraham Lucero Jr., MGB-7 senior science research specialist, said they went to check the swirling seawater last Monday but failed to see it because of high tide.
Lucero said the earthquake might have affected the shallow aquifer in the area and resulted in water bubbling out at the offshore area.
He said similar incidents have been occurring in some parts of Cebu, such as Barangay Tubigagmanok in Asturias town and El Pardo in Boljoon town.
Meanwhile, a 20-meter-long crack was detected in a cornfield in Barangay Anao, Ginatilan town, 135.4 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
But Inspector Christopher Castro, Ginatilan police chief, said Thursday that the crack, located 100 meters from the Anao Elementary School, was “narrow” in width.
Castro said a teacher told them they spotted the crack after the recent earthquake.
The police official said they reported the matter to Ginatilan Mayor Antonio Singco so that an assessment could be made and the safety of the elementary school students ensured.
Al Emil Berador, MGB chief geologist, said his team would check the reported swirling seawater and the crack in Ginatilan before they could make any assessment.