DENR REMINDS LGUS TO USE GEOHAZARD MAPS
TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office here has reiterated its call to local government units (LGUs) to make use of geologic hazard (geohazard) maps, following the recent flooding and landslides that claimed lives and displaced thousands in Northern Samar.
DENR Regional Executive Director Crizaldy Barcelo said such maps can help LGUs formulate programs, policies, and implement projects that will minimize, if not totally prevent the loss of lives and properties during natural calamities.
“As early 2016, all local government units were furnished with geohazard maps, including list of towns, cities and villages prone to flooding, landslide, earthquake, soil erosion, and areas along fault lines, among others, so to guide local government units,” he told reporters in a press briefing Monday.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), an attached agency of DENR, produced the map.
Barcelo said the widespread flooding and several landslides in the northern part of Samar Island when Tropical Depression Usman made its landfall before New Year was a clear reminder that climate change is real and constant threat to communities.
At least 13 people have been confirmed dead in Samar provinces while five others went missing after Tropical Depression Usman crossed the island before New Year, according to authorities.
Twenty of the 25 towns in Northern Samar province suffered the brunt of heavy rains dumped by “Usman”, affecting 185,902 individuals with eight confirmed dead.
Barcelo pointed out these geological risks to human lives and properties could have been avoided if families are not situated in identified geohazard areas.
“I strongly urge our local government units to promptly come up with a positive response and adoption on the information provided by MGB in the unidentified geohazard areas. We believe that it can substantially help minimize the loss of lives and properties when disaster strikes,” he added.
Geohazard mapping is an ongoing priority program of DENR, which is being implemented by MGB. Its main objective is to identify areas in the country susceptible to various geologic hazards.
Under the program, the 1:10,000 scale landslide and flood susceptibility assessment of 1,634 cities and municipalities were completed.
Through the use of these maps, communities at risk can better prepare for natural hazards and minimize their adverse effects. (PNA)