MGB prepares new geo-hazard map for Camarines Sur

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LEGAZPI CITY, 21June2013 (PNA) – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Bicol will soon come out with a new geo-hazard map for 20 towns of Camarines Sur, replacing the previously published hazard map, a ranking MGB official said today.

Engineer Theodore Rommel Pestaño, MGB regional director, said in a phone interview that the geo-hazard document will provide the concerned local government units (LGUs) with data that will identify danger zones for flooding, landslide and other disaster events that may hit their respective areas, including possible locations to be made as relocation sites.

The new geo-hazard mapping started this month and will end in December this year.

The on-going hazard mapping will have a scale of 1:10,000, with clearer and identifiable hazard areas and recommended safe relocation sites.

This will be larger than the previous survey map that shows a scale of 1:50,000, Pestaño claimed.

He explained that in scale identification, the smaller the number, the bigger is the graphical presentation; thus, a 1:5,000 scale shows a much bigger map than a 1:10,000 scale.

The new geo-hazard mapping carries a P10-million funding, according to Pestaño.

The MGB has already contracted the Brass Technologies Inc. to conduct the field survey and groundworks.

MGB field personnel involved in the survey will be equipped with maps, aerial pictures and satellite images.

Pestaño said they had earlier distributed geo-hazard maps to various LGUs to serve as inputs for planning purposes and decision making by the chief executives.

He, however, said the MGB has decided to conduct another geo-hazard mapping in 20 towns of Camarines Sur

The towns covered by the new survey are Baao, Balatan, Bato, Bombon, Bula, Cabusao, Camaligan, Canaman, Del Gallego, Gainza, Libmanan, Lupi, Milaor, Minalabac, Nabua, Pamplona, Pasacao, Ragay, San Fernando and Sipocot.

Pestaño said an on-going hazard-mapping conversion to the scale of 1:10,000 is also being done for the province of Albay and Legazpi City.

The provinces with hazard maps of 1:50,000 scale are the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate and Catanduanes.

MGB geo-hazard maps indicate that more than half of the 114 towns and cities in Bicol are under threat of floods and landslides.

This prompted the MGB to warn villagers living in low-lying villages, river channels, shorelines and mountain slopes to be cautious, especially during the onset of rainy seasons which started this month until the end of the year.

Pestaño said at least five cities and 55 towns in Bicol are prone to floods and landslides as indicated by the geo-hazard mapping study conducted by the agency.

In Albay, there are 14 towns and three cities; Camarines Sur, 22 towns and a city; Camarines Norte, eight towns; Sorsogon, 14, including Sorsogon City; Catanduanes, 11 towns, and Masbate, five towns.(PNA)

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