General Santos declares coastal area no-build zone due to erosion
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The city government has declared Purok Tinago in Barangay (village) South here a “no-build zone” following a “coastal subsidence” or erosion that has expanded to around 70 meters in diameter and around 640 meters deep since it was first detected last week.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said the declaration was meant to “restrict anyone from erecting any form of house or establishment there.”
Based on an assessment conducted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the erosion – which was earlier thought of as a developing sink hole – has been extending to the sea.
Rivera said the aerial view showed that the collapse of the ground was visible and distinct compared to the surrounding shores.
Dr. Bong Dacera, CDDRMO action officer, called the phenomenon in Purok Tinago as an underwater soil erosion.
“Only the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) can declare if that is the sinkhole. But as of now, based on our assessments, it is a coastal subsidence,” Dacera said.
He said a few meters from the shores of Tinago, an underwater precipice of a steep cliff around 25 meters deep was located and that the movement of the sea over the years has eroded parts of it and has been causing the erosion.
“When compared to a surface phenomenon, what happened there is definitely a landslide,” he said.
Dacera said they were expecting a team from the MGB national office to assess the phenomenon in Tinago anytime this week.
The results, he said, would be used by the city government and the CDRRMO for disaster-proofing of Barangay South and nearby coastal communities.
“Sinkhole or not, the risks are still high and looming for the residents of Tinago,” Rivera said.
He said this was also the reason he had ordered the mandatory evacuation of the 37 families living in the area and their transfer to Promise Land, the relocation site in Barangay Mabuhay.
The 37 families, he said, were those living closest to the Tinago coastline.
“The rest of the residents will be relocated to Purok Lanton in Barangay Apopong,” Rivera said.
He said each of the relocated families would get 75 square meters in land to put their houses on.
“Actually this is a hard task but since this is very immediate, I have to make arrangements so that residents in Tinago can be relocated and be moved away from danger as soon as possible,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.