Two subvillages in Malilipot town in Albay have been declared “no man’s land” due to landslides brought about by the recent typhoons hitting Bicol earlier this month.
Barangay Calbayog and San Roque are located within the 9-kilometer radius of Mayon Volcano and are hotspots during eruption.The landslide in Brgy. San Roque has reached a width of approximately 100 meters and a depth of 60 meters, or 200 feet.
Malilipot’s head of disaster risk and reduction management office, Alvin Magdaong, said that a 50-meter buffer zone from the critical edge of the collapsed area had been drawn and that no human activity can be conducted here. He added that about 45 families (nearly 200 people) in Zones 1 and 3 have evacuated to temporary shelter in San Roque Elementary School and other houses in the village.
“The soil is basically a layering of lahar or pyroclastic materials,” he said. “These are volcanic materials which are loosely consolidated. Now that these reached the threshold capacity to hold water, these would really collapse.”
Magdaong also suggested that the river in Mayon Volcano’s slopes should be dredged in order to redirect the flow of water and avoid future landslides and flooding. He added that the loose soil makes for poor foundation for houses and said that it can be declared a “no build zone.”
Town mayor Roli Volante reported that residents of the area will be permanently relocated to a 2.5-hectare land owned by the government, which can be converted to a resettlement site. Further rains may aggravate landslides and endanger Brgys. San Jose, Binitayan and San Francisco.
He also recommended the closure of the national road which serves Calbayog and San Roque, due to severe damage and the threat of landslides.
Photo: Charism Sayat AFP/ Getty Images