THE Mines and Geosciences (MGB) 7 will conduct rapid geohazard assessment in 606 barangays in Cebu and Siquijor this year to identify areas vulnerable to calamities like floods, landslides, liquefaction and other ground instabilities, such as earthquakes.

MGB 7 Director Loreto B. Alburo said these barangays have yet to be assessed by the agency to complete the mapping of 2,773 barangays in Central Visayas.

“We have already completed the rapid geohazard assessment of all municipalities and cities of Negros Oriental and Bohol totaling 1,538 barangays, and landslide threat advisories have been issued to these areas,” Alburo said.

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He said geohazard mapping identifies various geologic features and hazards. It also determines possible settlement sites, as well as property and infrastructure to be affected by calamities.

LGUs

“The of geohazard maps and reports incorporating said information—information on the vulnerability of certain areas to various types of geologic and natural hazards—will be provided to the concerned local government units (LGUs),” Alburo said.

“Out of the 53 cities and municipalities of Cebu, 32 cities and municipalities or 60.38 percent were mapped, covering 629 barangays,” he said.

He said the geohazard mapping and assessment project is one of the priority thrusts or flagship programs of President Arroyo and Environment Secretary Eleazer P. Quinto Jr. to advance the protection and preservation of lives and properties.

Examples of geological phenomena that can produce geohazards are floods, flash floods and landslides, which may be rain-induced or earthquake-related.

He said Quinto also instructed MGB to conduct an audit of structures in geohazard areas so that concerned LGUs can improve their disaster-preparedness in line with a directive from Arroyo requiring a review and update on disaster-responsiveness, which include assessment of infrastructure vulnerable to geohazards, of government.