CCDRRMO head wants mayor to declare landslide scene off-limits to human habitation

RESIDENTS of Sitio Garahe in the mountain barangay of Busay, Cebu City, where a landslide swept away several houses on Saturday afternoon, October 29, 2022, may not be able to return to their homes.

Harold Alcontin, officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO), said he will recommend to Mayor Michael Rama to declare the area off-limits to human habitation.

He said non-stop rains brought about by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng these past few days had loosened the ground, posing a danger to everyone who lives there.

He said they are monitoring 11 structures that perch precariously on the edge of a cliff. However, there’s a possibility that the number will go up as members of the Quick Response Team and personnel of the City Social Welfare Service continue their accounting of houses that are in danger of being swept away by a landslide.

“Two days before the incident, residents in the area noticed the ground constantly shaking. So they had already evacuated before the landslide,” he said in Cebuano.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Central Visayas (MGB 7) had inspected the area and found that it was prone to landslides.

Alcontin said residents were well aware of this, including Busay Barangay Captain Ma. Christia Famador, who lost her house to last Saturday’s landslide.

He said he will urge the MGB 7 to help the CCDRRMO inspect Sitio Garahe again after All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2. That way he can attach their findings to his recommendation to the mayor, he added.

Meanwhile, Alcontin said they will check with the Cebu City Transportation Office on what it plans to do to address vehicle traffic in the sitio and in the barangay.

He said vehicles might have to use one lane only while the threat of landslides exists.