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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Landslide threat prompts evacuation in Samar village

TARANGNAN, Samar -- The local government here has enforced on Saturday a pre-emptive evacuation of 66 families living in landslide-prone areas after days of heavy downpour in Samar province.

Tarangnan disaster risk reduction and management officer Justo Derayunan said these families, consists of 275 individuals from Baras village, moved to evacuation areas in neighboring villages.

Baras village is an island, 45 minutes boat ride away from the town center.

Derayunan said that on June 29, the landslide sensors installed in the village has issued a rating of A2, indicating a critical ground movement in the last 24 hours. They were advised to prepare residents for evacuation.

On Friday, the same sensor set up by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) issued A3 rating, indicating a critical underground movement and residents need to be evacuated.

Derayunan said they had a hard time convincing some residents to leave the village.

Based on initial assessment, at least 45 households will be directly hit by landslide, but they just made sure to evacuate all residents.

“We don’t want to take the risk, we don’t know what would possibly happen especially with the present weather condition we have, the non-stop rain,” he added.

The sensor was installed 30 feet below the ground, which sends real-time data directly to Phivolcs, which then relays information to the local government.

“The crack of the mountain is 1.2-kilometer long. If you’re on the top, it is visible and indicates ground movement,” Derayunan explained.

“The village residents shared that they already hear scorching sound from underground,” he added.

The local government unit has already distributed relief food packs to affected residents. Classes have been suspended since June 28.

Regular monitoring is in place to make sure that no residents will go back to the village as A3 alert is still up.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in its 2014 survey found out that the village has an imminent danger of landslide due to presence of cracks in the area.

Phivolcs affirmed the MGB’s findings. (PNA)

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