Geologists assess quake damage

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Sunday, April 27, 2014


THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has assessed almost 2,000 houses in Bohol that were damaged or destroyed by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last October 15, 2013.

The MGB 7, though, still has to check more than 40,000 houses in Bohol.

MGB 7 Director Laureto Alburo said the task entails many challenges as government geologists have also been asked to assess 650 school sites, eight roads affected by landslides and 14 churches, government buildings, resettlement zones and other places frequented by people, like the Danao Eco Adventure Park.

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“It is not physically possible for our (MGB 7) geologists to assess all these,” Alburo told Sun.Star Cebu. “Even if eight teams of geologists conduct the assessment, they would finish it in December 2015 yet.”

Knowing the importance of the assessment, Alburo said he proposed four strategies to Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto: request assistance from MGB central office and other regional offices of the bureau; outsource some of the work to private geologists; simplify the format of the assessment report; and capacitate municipal engineers and planning officers.

Help

Alburo said the MGB central office in Manila, MGB 4A and 4B sent teams to help the assessment.

He said MGB 7 conducted a series of workshops to orient municipal engineers and planning officers, who are also engineers.

“They (municipal engineers and planning officers) already have the technical knowledge and expertise,” he said.

He said the municipal engineers and planning officers may start helping in the assessment once the memorandum of agreement between the MGB 7 and the Province of Bohol is signed.

The MGB 7 has drafted an agreement, which is awaiting comments from Governor Chatto.

Alburo said the municipal engineers will be asked to look into low to moderate geohazard areas. Highly critical areas will remain to be the responsibility of MGB geologists, he added.

He said MGB 7 has also prioritized the assessment of 650 school sites in 15 Bohol towns that were hardest hit by the earthquake.

Government geologists have so far assessed 93 school sites.

Alburo said not all of the schools to be assessed were damaged by the quake. Some of them were built in the 1970s and are already dilapidated, he added. LAP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 27, 2014.

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