200 in Bohol told to leave sinkhole area-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
CEBU CITY -- Close to 200 residents of a village in Tagbilaran City, Bohol were advised to evacuate their homes after two large sinkholes were found there.
Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said the sinkholes in Barangay Poblacion 1 might expand to a bigger depression and cause landslides, thus the need to evacuate residents.
DENR-Central Visayas spokesperson Eddie Llamedo confirmed that the sinkholes had a high probability of collapsing if the residents are not evacuated immediately.
The sinkholes may have opened up after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu and Bohol two weeks ago.
But residents in the area refused to evacuate despite the threat that sinkholes present.
In an interview on Wednesday, Llamedo said a team from MGB-Central Visayas led by geologist Abraham Lucero Jr. is currently in Bohol to check on the sinkhole.
Llamedo said one of the sinkholes, located in Purok 7, measures about three by four meters in length and with a depth of five meters, while the second sinkhole, found in Purok 8, was found to have tension cracks.
The sinkholes are within Tagbilaran City.
Llamedo said the MGB-Central Visayas issued a landslide threat advisory to barangay and city officials led by Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnel Yap during a meeting last October 28.
During their meeting, the MGB recommended to evacuate the residents living near the sinkholes to safer areas.
“Its better to be in the side of caution until such time that the area could be declared safe for habitation. In the meantime, evacuation of residents should be carried out as we don’t know the extent of the sinkhole,” Llamedo added.
Personnel from MGB are using ground penetrating radar to determine the sinkholes’ extent.
But in a GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak report, Susan Toting, one of the residents in the area, said she and other residents refused to leave their homes as there is no evacuation site for them.
She also recommended to MGB and city officials that rather than evacuating them, they just have to cordon the area where the sinkholes are. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2013.