Half of Bicol is danger zone, says Mines and Geosciences BureauBy Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY—Half of the Bicol region is prone to floods and landslides, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) which also advised residents in the region’s danger zones to be on a high state of alert especially since the rainy season has started.
Theodore Rommel Pestaño, MGB Bicol regional director, said five of seven cities and 55 of 107 towns in Bicol are prone to floods and landslides as indicated by the geohazard mapping study conducted by the agency.
This means that more than half of the 114 local government units (seven cities and 107 municipalities) in Bicol are under threat from floods and landslides, he said.
In Albay, all three cities
—Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco—are vulnerable to floods and landslides as well as 14 of its 15 towns, the MGB geohazard map showed.
The flood-prone Albay towns are Bacacay, Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Libon, Malilipot, Malinao, Manito, Oas, Rapu-Rapu, Sto. Domingo, Pioduran, Polangui and Tiwi. Manito and the island town of Rapu-Rapu are landslide-prone areas, the study said. Only the upland town of Jovellar is not on the list.
In Camarines Sur, aside from the city of Naga, 22 of 35 towns are under threat from floods and landslides. These are Bato, Bombon, Buhi, Bula, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Magarao, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Lupi, Pasacao, Presentacion, Sagnay, Sipocot, Pili, Ocampo, Tigaon and Tinambac.
In Camarines Norte, Pestaño also warned residents in the towns of Basud, Capalonga, Labo, Mercedez, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente and Sta. Elena about rain-triggered disasters.
In Sorsogon, under threat from landslide are the towns of Bulan, Magallanes, Sta. Magdalena, Matnog, Castilla, Prieto Diaz, Pilar and Donsol. The towns of Gubat, Casiguran, Irosin, Juban, Bulusan and Barcelona, which are near the foot of Mt. Bulusan, are flood-prone.
In Catanduanes, prone to landslides and flooding are all of the 11 towns of the island province—Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, San Andres, San Miguel, Pandan, Panganiban, Viga and the capital town of Virac.
In Masbate, he said, the gold mining town of Aroroy and the towns of Baleno, Mandaon, Milagros and Mobo are at risk.
In 52 other areas not identified as disaster prone, Pestaño recommended that LGUs be vigilant and prepared for any eventuality and to heed disaster advisories issued by the local weather bureau and disaster councils.
Pestaño said MGB geohazard maps have been distributed to various LGUs in Bicol to help local officials.
Pestaño said the maps offer LGUs data that identify danger zones for flooding, landslides and other disasters. Also on the maps are areas that could be used as relocation sites.
Pestaño said the MGB is conducting another geohazard mapping study in 19 towns of Camarines Sur starting this month until December this year.
The new geohazard maps would be more detailed and easier to read, Pestaño said.