Surigao del Norte faces increased landslide risk

Expected moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall in Caraga Region is elevating the risk for landslides in earthquake-stricken Surigao del Norte province.

“Such rainfall can be an additional trigger for those landslides,” said geologist Ericson Bariso from State-run Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

He noted the expected rainfall can set off landslides in areas already at risk for these hazards due to aftershocks of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that rocked Surigao last week.

Such areas are in hilly locations with either loose soil or ground fractures, he said.

“People there must check their surroundings for such features and prepare accordingly,” he noted.

In its 24-hour forecast released Thursday, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of possible landslides and flash floods from moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms expected in Caraga, Davao and Soccsksargen regions.

“Such weather will likely persist there until Friday,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja.

He expects weather in the three regions to begin improving afterwards.

The tail-end of a cold front bringing rainfall there will likely be already moving northwards away from Mindanao this weekend, he said.

Phivolcs reported already recording, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, 190 aftershocks from last week’s Surigao earthquake.

The strongest of those was a magnitude 5.0 aftershock this Tuesday at 4:03 a.m., said Phivolcs.

Nineteen of the recorded aftershocks were felt.

Eight people in Surigao del Norte were reported dead from last week’s earthquake, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in its situation report 7 released Thursday.

NDRRMC also said around 202 people sustained injuries from the earthquake but they already received medical treatment.

The earthquake affected about 16,655 people in 60 villages of Surigao del Norte.

Authorities concerned so far estimated at almost P700 million Surigao del Norte’s damages from the earthquake, NDRRMC said.

It noted the earthquake damaged several roads and bridges, port facilities, power and water facilities, a hospital, drug treatment and rehabilitation center, other public infrastructure and facilities, a school and various school facilities in the province.

Around 3,257 houses in Surigao del Norte also sustained damages from the earthquake. (PNA)

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