Relocation proposed after town landslide
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) has recommended the relocation of nearly a hundred families in a sub-village in Manito, Albay that was hit by a landslide on Jan. 18.
“The entire sitio (sub-village) of Inang Maharang in Barangay Nagotgot, Manito is prone to landslide and debris flow,” said Cedric Daep, head of Apsemo, in an interview on Saturday.
He said Apsemo’s recommendation is based on the inspection being conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB).
“The said sub-village is like a valley, an area surrounded by a mountain range, so there should be no residents inside the landslide prone area,” said Daep.
An aerial survey by disaster officials found a vast volume of water and debris that flowed from the mountain slopes towards 70 hectares of farmland in Inang Maharang.
Arlene Dayao, geoscience division chief of DENR-MGB, said the landslide was triggered by heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm “Amang” that softened the soil in the surrounding hillside.
Apsemo records showed 15 houses were buried in the landslide that occurred at 9 a.m. in the area, while 92 families or 344 persons from Sitio Maharang were evacuated to Nagotgot Elementary School.
Daep said aside from the evacuated families, they are still validating if there are other families residing within the landslide prone area.
He said they have identified a five-hectare land at the poblacion area of the village to be utilized as a relocation area. But Daep said they would consult with MGB if this area would be safe as a relocation site.
He said construction of the houses would be planned with the Department of Social Welfare and Development office.