Naga LGU, MGB-7: Reports on ‘new cracks’ found in Barangay Naalad, a hoax
CEBU CITY, Philippines —Recent reports on new soil cracks allegedly discovered in Barangay Naalad in Naga City are a hoax.
Acting Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong issued the clarification in an interview with CDN Digital this afternoon, September 24, so as not to raise alarm among Naalad residents.
Chiong refuted earlier reports that the city has issued a new evacuation order covering a total of six barangays in the city following the discovery of “new cracks” in these areas.
“There is neither new cracks nor new communities that were ordered to be evacuated,” she said.
A news report published by a local daily during the weekend says that the Naga City government has ordered the evacuation of residents from six barangays following the discovery of new cracks in the area. The report came out two days after the commemoration of the first anniversary of the September 20 landslide which claimed at least 78 lives. Six others have remain unaccounted for.
Chiong admitted to having sent out evacuation orders to residents in 12 sitios in Barangay Tinaan, Naalad, Mainirt, Inoburan, Cabungahan and Uling, but she clarified that it was not a new order but a continuing reminder for the residents in areas covered by the “delineated no habitation zone” set by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in October 2018.
“After the Naga landslide incident last year, the DENR-MGB conducted vulnerability and risk assessments, resulting to the delineation of certain areas in the barangays of Tinaan, Naalad, Mainirt, Inoburan, Cabungahan and Uling as Regulated Zone, Danger Zone and Critical or No Habitation Zone,” Chiong explained.
Engineer Armando Malicse, chief of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division of MGB-7, said that their agency has not monitored any new crack or soil development at the vicinity of ground zero in Sitio Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan.
“The zonation map is still in effect. Thus, we cannot guarantee that it would be safe for people to be back in their residences within this area,” Malicse told CDN Digital.
Some 446 families residing within the no habitation zone were informed that they could no longer go back to their homes.
The residents from these 13 sitios have received P50,000 financial assistance from the city government. They are also either awaiting the completion of the relocation homes being constructed by the National Housing Authority in a 2-hectare portion of the Balili property and the city-funded housing units in Sitio Tapon, Barangay or have availed of the building and relocation assistance of P100,000.
While most of the residents, upon receipt of their financial assistance, have started to vacate their properties that are located within the delineated zone, Chiong said that some 111 families have either refused to leave the area or have returned to their homes.
The city government of Naga, Chiong said, has activated the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (BDRRMCs) in the concerned barangays to especially monitor these 111 families and persuade them to relocate.
“The latest of such written notices was a reiteration or a reminder that the implementation of the no habitation zone as earlier delineated by the DENR MGB is still in effect up until today,” Chiong said.
“This is not a new evacuation order but a continuous effort of the city government to remind the 111 families who have returned to the no habitation zone.” / dcb
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