MGB VI conducts an information drive on rain-induced landslides and floods to prepare for La Niña

Iloilo City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office VI reminds the public anew of the possible occurrence of landslides and flooding with the onset of the rainy season.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources instructs MGB regional offices to activate their Operations Centers and assist in conducting Pre-Disaster Risk Assessments (PDRAs) in close coordination with the Office of Civil Defense in the respective regions to prepare mitigation measures for the potential impacts of La Niña.

In a series of broadcast interviews on Radyo Pilipinas and lectures this month, MGB VI chief geologist and head of the Geosciences Division Mae Y. Magarzo presents the facts on the nature, causes, and risks of landslides and floods.

“The geographic and geologic setting of the Philippines (part of the Pacific Ring of Fire) makes it prone to various hazards such as typhoon and rain-related geologic hazards such as landslides and floods,” Magarzo explained.

The DENR, MGB embarked on a rapid geohazard mapping and assessment program from 2005 to 2010 (1:50,000 scale) and a detailed mapping from 2011 to 2014 (1:10,000 scale).  When the program was completed, MGB conducted a nationwide information and education campaign introducing the results of the detailed geohazard assessment and mapping of rain-induced landslides and floods.  Geohazard maps were distributed to the local government units providing data for land use planning, issuance of geohzard threat advisories and warnings, and the formulation of disaster risk reduction and management plans.

“We are continuously updating our geohazard maps, and the MGB launched a web-based portal, the MGB Geohazard Portal, where anyone can access geohazard maps.”

Ms. Magarzo said we must heed mitigation measures and regularly monitor weather forecasts and alerts from PAG-ASA, Office of Civil Defense. and respective local government units.  The geohazard maps point to areas highly susceptible to landslides and floods.  We have issued advisories in the communities after each information drive.

MGB is working closely with local and national agencies to enhance monitoring and response capabilities.  Whenever there is a weather disturbance, we issue a list of barangays that are vulnerable to these geohazards through the national and regional disaster risk reduction management councils, Magarzo said.

Prepare emergency kits with essential supplies including water, food, medications, and important documents.  We must familiarize ourselves with local evacuation sites and plans, and ensure all family members know what to do in case of an emergency.  We can take these actions to prevent disasters from happening. (MGB VI)

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