Ma-a residents defy City Government’s advice to evacuate

(Photo by Ralph Lawrence G. Llemit)
(Photo by Ralph Lawrence G. Llemit)

PEOPLE living in a village in Barangay Ma-a continue to defy Davao City Government’s advisory for them to evacuate as their area has been identified as a “danger zone” by local authorities.

Government agencies such as City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Davao, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao conducted a joint ground assessment on Saturday, November 2.

Initial results of the assessment flagged Juario Village, located in Bugac, Ma-a, as a “danger zone” after cracks were seen on the boulders in the area.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in a statement Sunday, November 3, that residents of the village have been advised to evacuate as soon as possible because of threats of imminent landslide.

Prior to the issued ground assessment, the CDRRMO already placed a “landslide-prone” area signage.

Village Purok 9 leader Mario Juario told SunStar Davao on Monday, November 4, that residents in the area have not yet vacated their place despite the issuance of the advisory made by the mayor herself.

Juario said cracks in the slope portion were already noticed after a series of earthquakes struck Mindanao last week.

“Although dugay nami gi-recommend nga mag-evacuate, even tong sagunson ang pag-ulan sa siyudad, halos isa ka semana to (We have long been recommended to evacuate, especially during the time when the city experienced an almost week-long of heavy rains in the city),” the village official said.

He said a total of 18 houses near the slope in the area are projected to be affected by a possible landslide brought by last week’s earthquake, and he already told the residents to follow the city’s advisory since aftershocks might be experienced in the city in the coming days.

“Naa man mi bagtingan kung aduna nasab mahitabong linog. Diha pa na sila manghawa kung mukusog nasab ang pag-uyog sa yuta. Kung naa gyu’y sign nga katagakon ang yuta, diraa na gyud nato sila ipa-force evacuate (We have an alarm system once another earthquake strikes. They will only vacate their area once another stronger movement in the ground strikes. If we notice another sign that the ground will collapse, that’s when we will implement a forced evacuation),” Juario said.

Respituta Momo, a resident near the slope, said as much as they wanted to evacuate, they cannot abandon their source of livelihood, which is located within the area.

Momo said it is also an inconvenience on their part if they have to go back-and-forth from the evacuation center in the barangay hall, which is quiet far from where they live.

She said they are willing to leave the area as long as the local government will assure them of their relocation.

“Pero sa pagkakaron, asa man mi mamakwit? Mag unsa man mi sa barangay? Musuporta ba sila sa among panginahanglan matag adlaw? (As of now, we don’t have any place to go. What will we be doing if we stay in the barangay hall? Will they be able to sustain our daily needs?),” Momo said.

She said she is not afraid if another earthquake strikes but they pray against “the big one” since nobody can determine when it will happen.

DENR-Davao Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO) Chief Jayvee Agas told SunStar Davao in a text message that aside from Ma-a, they are also recommending residents living at Quiñones Compound in Matina Crossing to vacate the place after cracks were also discovered in their area.

Prior to the earthquakes in October, Agas said there is also a transitional sliding along Davao-Bukidnon Highway in September this year.

Meanwhile, she said authorities are continuously monitoring other areas which are at risk of possible landslide due to the earthquakes.


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