5,000 residents threatened by rock slides on Mt. Arayat | Inquirer News

5,000 residents threatened by rock slides on Mt. Arayat

/ 05:35 AM September 27, 2018

DANGER ON ARAYAT A boulder marks a danger zone at San Juan Baño on Mt. Arayat, Pampanga province. In 2009, soil and rocks loosened by heavy rain hit a section of the village and killed 12 people. TONETTE OREJAS

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — More than 5,000 residents in a village near Mt. Arayat in Pampanga province are set to be moved out of harm’s way as around 400,000 cubic meters of rocks, enough to fill more than 10 hectares, could fall loose due to rains or an earthquake.

The provincial government on Tuesday began preparing a relocation plan for residents of Purok 6 and 7 at Barangay San Juan Baño in Arayat town after Noel Lacadin, chief of the geosciences division of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Central Luzon, said these areas should be classified as under a “state of imminent danger.”


Debris channels


The agency’s latest geohazard assessment showed that rocks, displaced by a landslide on Sept. 26, 2009 and by intense rains years after, are “ready to be carried by debris flow if not mitigated.”

That landslide, which occurred after Typhoon “Ondoy” dumped rains in September 2009, killed 12 people.

Four debris channels — Mayagas, Oliva, Madalumdum and Takwi — are filled with 318,850 cubic meters of loosened rocks, Lacadin said.

He called San Juan Baño a “depositional zone,” meaning it could “most likely” be buried by debris.

Bunkhouses on a land owned by the provincial government at Barangay Telapayong should be finished this December, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda said.

She asked the MGB to also assess the mountains in Floridablanca and Porac towns and Mabalacat City.



Relocation is the most viable option for Purok 6 and 7 residents because engineering solutions would take time to be processed and approved, she said.

Mayor Emmanuel Alejandrino said his proposal four years ago to retrieve the rocks had not been addressed by the MGB, although Lacadin said the plan had been presented to the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Any action on Mt. Arayat needs to be coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because it is a national park and protected area, Lacadin said.

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Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda said the provincial board would wait for the MGB to delineate the danger zones before issuing a resolution establishing these areas at San Juan Baño.


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