Barangay chiefs told: Prepare disaster plans
Better be safe than sorry.
This was the advise of Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak to the city’s barangay officials whom he asked to already start preparation of their respective disaster preparedness plans.
Preparedness, Tumulak said, will help the city caution ill effects that may result from the presence of sinkholes in the city’s 80 barangays.
“It does not necessarily mean (that sinkholes cover) the whole barangay. There are (just) specific sitios identified. Barangay officials should focus on these sitios so as not to create panic to the whole community. The people should not panic because this is a natural phenomenon,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Tumulak, head of the Council’s public order and safety committee, and other City Council members, received briefing from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on Tuesday night on the presence of sinkholes in the city.
He said that the result of MGB’s Karst Subsidence Assessment and Ground Penetrating Radar show that sinkholes are common in the city’s upland and urban areas, but he did not specify its exact location.
MGB, Tumulak said, gave suggestions on how to avoid the occurrence of disasters in these areas which include the need to dive waterways away from the location of sinkholes and the prohibition against the construction of high-rise buildings in these areas.
Barangay officials are also advised to immediately report the presence of tension cracks on existing structures.
“This is urgent. We (will) never know in case there is ground shaking. It will affect these areas. Buildings may collapse. Our communities should be ready at all times. This is based on the recommendations given (by MGB),” Tumulak said.
He said that barangays can use 70 percent of their disaster funds to implement the needed interventions.
To avoid panic, Tumulak said, it would also be best if barangay officials disseminate information on the presence of sinkholes to nearby residents.
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