CATBALOGAN CITY – After few days of clearing landslide debris, a major highway in Samar is now "partly" passable to light vehicles, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
The DPWH closed the San Isidro–Calbayog route to traffic last July 23, after a landslide occurred in Barangay Caglanipao, Calbayog City, due to continuous rains brought about by Tropical Depression Gorio.
The road is part of the Pan Philippine Highway that connects Visayas and Luzon.
“Approximately 138 meters long (part of the road) was covered with almost 15,000 cubic meters of soil and rocks rendering the road unpassable to all types of vehicles,” the DPWH said.
The DPWH Northern Samar First Engineering District Office and the Samar First District Engineering Office immediately conducted joint clearing operations.
While clearing operation is ongoing last July 25, light vehicles were allowed to pass through the area in every two hours "as the other lane of the road is still covered with dirt and the mountainside is still unstable,” Engr. Romy Gumban, chief of Equipment Management Division-Eastern Visayas Region, said.
“At least this way, the community’s day-to-day life will not be hampered that much,” Gumban said on their decision to partly open the road to traffic.
DPWH-Eastern Visayas officials have vowed to finish the clearing operation within the week.
Meanwhile, rockfall were reported along the national roads in barangays Palanit and Mabuhay in San Isidro town.
District Engineer Alvin Ignacio has warned the public to be cautious when passing by these landslide-prone areas.