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Buhisan officials want 300 residents evacuated

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram October 20,2018 - 12:20 AM

For five years now, these huge cracks on a mountain in Barangay Buhisan have been posing imminent danger to residents living below it. Barangay officials want them evacuated immediately.

DUE TO CRACKS ON MOUNTAIN SLOPES

If only officials of Barangay Buhisan will have their way, at least 300 residents of Sitio Sandayong should be evacuated immediately due to large cracks found on the mountain above it.

But “uncooperative” residents continue to ignore the pleas of barangay officials to leave, prompting the latter to ask the help of environment and disaster experts to warn the residents about the real and imminent danger that they are facing.

Buhisan Barangay Captain Gremar Barete said the cracks first appeared after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013.

And although the cracks on the slopes have not grown in size, he said the danger is still there.

Barete said they have tapped the help of the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources (CCENRO) and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRMO) to inspect if preemptive evacuation is needed.

He added that they also requested CCENRO to ask the help and expertise of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7).

300 individuals in danger zone

Barete said that around 30 houses or 300 individuals should be evacuated since they are residing right below the slopes where the cracks are found.

When MGB-7 conducted a site inspection in Buhisan shortly after the 2013 earthquake, Sitio Sandayong was tagged as a danger zone and a landslide advisory was issued in the area.

Because of the findings of MGB-7, they suggested for the immediate evacuation of the 300 individuals living in the danger zone.

But Barete said they failed to fully comply with the recommendations of state geologists because the affected residents refused to heed their pleas.

“We actually implemented it but not long, they returned. Some never came back but there’s still a lot who choose to stay despite the threat,” said Barete.

“This is why we are asking help from CCENRO, CCDRRMO and MGB to urge these residents to leave the area. The barangay could only do so much,” he added.

Buhisan is among the 19 hinterland villages in the city that were classified as highly susceptible to landslides by MGB-7’s geohazard map.

Naga City landslide

Barete said the landslide that struck Barangay Tinaan in Naga City, and claimed the lives of 78 individuals led him to review the report of MGB-7.

“We don’t want the same thing to happen in our barangay. This is why I asked the help of higher officials before everything is too late,” he said.

CCDRRMO chief, Nagiel Bañacia, said they will conduct an assessment of the area by Monday (October 22) since the city’s disaster experts left for Barangay Pulangbato on Friday to inspect if there are possible threats in the area following reports of illegal quarrying there.

Meanwhile, Marian Codilla, information officer of MGB-7, told Cebu Daily News that they are willing to conduct an update of their report on the cracks in Barangay Buhisan should a formal request be made.

“But as of now, we have not received a request from them yet,” she said.

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TAGS: 300, Buhisan, evacuated, officials, residents

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