NEARLY three months after they were evacuated after a landslide struck Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tina-an in the City of Naga last September, some 970 families can finally return to their homes next week.
Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said they received a copy of the harmonized assessment from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau last Tuesday, Dec. 11.
The assessment identified the critical (maroon), danger (red) and regulated (green) zones near the landslide’s ground zero.
The critical zone is off-limits to people, but the danger and regulated zones were cleared for habitation.
The around 3,000 individuals who live in the danger and regulated zones can go home, she said.
Majority of the houses in these zones remain intact or were not greatly affected by the landslide.
Chiong said the affected individuals must first undergo an information, education and communication (IEC) briefing from the City Government so they understand the risks that await them once they go back.
“We started our IEC briefing this afternoon (Thursday) until Saturday. Expected by Sunday or early next week, they can go home,” Chiong told SunStar Cebu. After the briefing, the individuals will be given an identification card that identifies which zone their house is located in.
“If they are in the green zone, they are allowed to resettle and implement new development subject to reassessment and further study, especially if they plan to construct big structures. While those living in the red zone are allowed to return to their homes, they are advised to be cautious, especially during times of rain or typhoon. If they’re asked to evacuate, they must do so immediately,” Chiong said, in Cebuano.
Some 444 families whose houses are in the critical zone cannot go back. The City has already started releasing financial assistance to them so they can rebuild their lives, Chiong said.
The mayor admitted that only 260 houses can be built on a portion of the Balili property in Tina-an that the Province donated to the City.
Gov. Hilario Davide III, though, assured her that the Province can donate additional properties to help relocate those affected by the landslide.
“Mangita ‘ta (We’ll look for a suitable place). As I’ve announced earlier, the Provincial Government will continue to assist the City of Naga,” Davide added. (from AZLG of SuperBalita Cebu/JKV)