Quarry operations in Legazpi City villages suspended
LEGAZPI CITY –– Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara has approved on Saturday the request of the city government to suspend quarry operations in five villages at the southern flank of Mayon volcano.
Bichara, in an interview on Sunday, said he issued Executive Order No. 35 suspending quarry operations in Barangays Mabinit, Bogna, Matanag, Buyuan, and Padang.
He said the suspension order was in response to City Mayor Noel Rosal’s letter seeking the provincial government’s action to temporarily stop quarrying operations pending the result of the investigation being conducted by a task force created by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) from Manila.
In his letter on Friday to the Governor, Rosal asked for the suspension of quarrying in said villages as residents expressed fear for their lives and worry about damage to property as they were at risk from the hazards of quarrying around the volcano.
Earlier, Bichara has ordered the suspension of quarrying in Guinobatan town after lives were lost, and hundreds of houses in the three villages were buried by lahar and boulders of rocks that cascaded down from the volcano’s slope at the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Rolly” (Goni) on Nov. 1.
The nine-man DENR task force has started its assessment to determine the extent and impact of quarrying on river systems on the slopes of Mt. Mayon after residents blamed quarrying as the cause.
Guillermo Molina, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, in an interview, said the task force was given 15 days to complete its assessments including risk mapping, and submit its recommendation to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
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