8 towns, 1 city identified as prone to landslides
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has identified eight towns and one city in Cebu which are at risk of floods and landslides once heavy rains start to come due to La Niña.
Julius Regner, PDRRMO spokesman, said these are Carcar City, Sibonga, Dumanjug, Ronda, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Alcantara and Malabuyoc — all in southern Cebu.
“Among those in the province with existing local disaster risk reduction and management offices, these are the areas which we made contact first in preparation for the coming La Niña,” he said.
Regner cited Alegria as one with hinterland villages that are prone to landslides during heavy rains.
He said the eight landslide-prone municipalities and city are at risk because soil in the mountain areas has become brittle due to El Niño.
“When the rain comes, water will seep through the cracked soil and there would be a great possibility that it will cause a landslide,” said Regner.
Regner added that Alegria and the eight other local government units were the first ones they instructed to prepare.
To reduce or prevent flooding, desilting and dredging of rivers, canals, and drainage systems should be done.
Meanwhile, residents in landslide-prone communities should already have been relocated not only because of an impending La Niña but because these places should not be inhabited in the first place.
Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon said that there are three areas in the upland villages of Valencia and Montpeller which are prone to landslides.
However, she said that no people are living in these places.
“I am scheduling a meeting with all department heads next week. One of the topics we will discuss is our preparations for La Niña,” she told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Magallon said they have set aside mostly school buildings as evacuation centers just in case these are needed during times of disaster.
During heavy rains, floodwater usually rises up to the legs of an average person, the mayor said.
In Carcar City, Mayor Nicepuro Apura said they are also ready for La Niña.
“Our disaster office is active and we have volunteer groups. Our equipment are in place and our personnel are well-trained,” he told CDN over the phone.
Apura clarified that there is only one barangay which is prone to flooding and that is Poblacion II.
“Because it is low-lying, even the slightest rainfall would create the most inconvenient flooding,” the mayor said.
However, he said that mitigating measures in the past have improved the situation in the city when it rains.
He said that they intend to disilt Carcar River once they receive a go signal from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) since a permit to quarry is needed to carry out the activity.
Mayor Apura said they are also widening the mouth of the river so water can easily flow to the ocean and minimize flooding during heavy rains.
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