Knowing if you live in a geological hazardous place could save you and your family’s lives.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had already distributed to local government units their completed geo-hazard maps. These maps shows areas that are disaster-prone.
However, some local officials failed to implement it. They let their constituents live on dangerous areas like what Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano, who despite of acquiring the copies of geo-hazard maps, he let his people live in Cagayan de Oro City river.
Emano’s “piso-piso” land distribution kills more thousand lives now. And he will never admit his greatest blunder! However, local officials are not to be blamed alone in the so-called most dreadful typhoon tragedy in the Philippine history. Climate change, careless residents (some may have not been properly informed of the risks), and corrupt and greedy businessmen also contributed to it.
What happened in Northern Mindanao only proved that Filipinos are not yet fully disaster-ready. Some environmental groups made bold warning before Sendong tragedy happened. But they only received doubts and criticisms either from government or sectors with profitable self-interest.
Studies from Mines and Geosciences Bureau said the unfortunate disaster in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City will happen again in the future, not until everyone follow the warning and stay away from living in geo-hazard areas like riversides, mountainsides among others.
As a resident, you may ask for local government executives or coordinate with your barangay officials to verify if your house is standing on a dangerous area. That is, if you are not living in an area that is obviously hazardous like riverside or mountainside or low-lying places. Also, try to check Mines and Geosciences Bureau website or inquire to their personnel to easily understand their maps.
Remember, precious lives can be saved if you’re aware and alert.