Ground movements in Talaingod may trigger landslides

FORCED evacuation has been ordered on more than 150 families residing in a hinterland barangay in Davao del Norte after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of ground movements in the area that may trigger massive landslide.

Phivolcs landslide monitoring team based in Quwzon City issued the warning late Wednesday afternoon after they noted ground movements at sitios Upper and Lower Mesolong in Barangay Sto. NiƱo in Talaingod town in Davao del Norte.

This developed after the accumulative rainfall for the past couple of days in Davao del Norte area.

The team immediately alerted the Provincial Government on the matter.

In a Facebook post of Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PDRRMC-Penro), the alert level 2 was raised which signals the implementation of evacuation and pre-emptive measures.

Families living in high risk areas are now leaving their respective houses and temporararily took refuge to safer grounds, according to information relayed by the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (BDRRMC) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) in Talaingod.

The situation is continuously monitored as the weather continues to threaten for a possible rainfall, the statement added.

PDRRMC Planning and Early Warning head Eric Rosillo said a deep-seated landslide may happen 15-18 meters below the surface, which is more dangerous than a surface landslide as most of the movements happen below the ground.

Rosillo said the ground movements were triggered by the continued heavy rainfalls caused by intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting Davao del Norte. Over 150 households are monitored living in the Upper and Lower Mesolong.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Davao director Liza Mazo, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Thursday afternoon, said that PDRRMO along with other agencies are constantly monitoring the situation.

She, meanwhile, lauded the efforts of PDRRMC and Penro for the fast pre-emptive actions taken.

Latest water level status from the water level sensor installed at Mabaus bridge boundary of Magupising and San Miguel in Tagum City also showed a significant increase due to accumulative rainfalls in the past couple days.

Rosillo said that the alert level calls on the affected households to implement pre-emptive measures and prepare for evacuation in case the situation gets worsen.

ITCZ is affecting the Visayas and Mindanao, according to the weather update posted by the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Pagasa said cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over Mindanao, adding that light to moderate winds coming from southwest to southeast with slight to moderate seas.
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