THE Boljoon Municipal Government has placed six out of the town’s 11 barangays under a state of calamity after landslides hit a mountain village last week.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 has also recommended declaring one sitio in Barangay Lower Becerril as a “no habitation zone.”

Ruben Niere, Boljoon public information officer, told SunStar Cebu that the Municipal Council led by Vice Mayor Ervin Villanueva approved the recommendation of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) to declare a state of calamity in Barangays Lower Becerril, Upper Becerril, Poblacion, Lunop, San Antonio and Nangka.

A resolution covering the matter was approved by the legislative body during an emergency session yesterday afternoon.

Eutemio Ternate, Boljoon local disaster officer, said they want the six villages placed under a state of calamity because roads leading to these villages were affected by the landslide that hit Lower Becerril almost a week ago.

Following the declaration of a state of calamity, the town can already start releasing funds for the construction of a diversion road.

Geologists of MGB 7 recommended to the town to declare Sitio Camp Franco in Lower Becerril as a “permanent danger zone” and “no habitation zone” since the ground in the area is unstable.

Loreto Alburo, MGB 7 director, said that five days of heavy downpour in Lower Becerril caused the massive landslide in Sitio Camp Franco.

Based on the findings of MGB 7’s Geohazards Mapping and Assessment Team (GMAT), Alburo said that Lower Becerril has a “very high” landslide susceptibility rating.

“The rainwater that seeped through the numerous cracks, which range from 20 to 60 centimeters wide, in Lower Becerril has caused the over saturation of the ground prior to the breaking off of the debris from the face of the mountain,” he said.

The landslide also caused debris and soil to block the Losapon River, creating an artificial dam.

Residents there had to be relocated as the artificial dam could cause the river to overflow.

According to barangay officials, massive landslides occured in the area in the 1950’s and in 1988. (JKV)