MGB-8 extends IEC to BDRRM Geohazards Seminar Workshop

eastern samarIn a bid to strengthen its IEC efforts and answer the strong clamor for disaster preparedness, MGB-8 Supervising Geologist Ricardo Obtinalla participated and presented an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) paper presentation on Geohazard preaparedness during the 1st Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Seminar-Workshop held on November 21 at Cansolabao,, Hinabangan, Samar.

The two-day activity spearheaded by the municipal government of Hinabangan through its Municipal Disaster Risk Management Office was attended by local officials from 7 barangays grouped under cluster II namely, Cansolabao, Concord, Tabay, Fatima, Cabang, San Rafael and Bagacay. It highlighted topics on anti-illegal logging measures, National Greening Project and disaster preparedness.

MDRRMO Tito Abaigar stated that said workshop was spurred by the conduct of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Ormoc City last  July25-27, this year.

“This is primarily aimed at giving insights to our constituents on what to do when a particular disaster happens,” Abaigar said.

Supervising Geologist Obtinalla stressed that in general, flat areas in Samar are flood-prone because of the presence of big rivers that normally overflow during heavy rainfall with or without typhoon.  According to him the conduct of such activity is really important to help the community understand their surroundings better and prepare themselves in times of disaster.

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“If the people know what to do at the onset or during a calamity, serious damage and fatalities can be avoided,” he emphasized.

Obtinalla emphasized the fact that Philippines is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire (PRF) which makes it a disaster-prone country since 90% of <1500 of active volcanoes of the world are found in the PRF. He also added that the different geohazards in Region 8 include landslide, flood and flashflood, earthquake and earthquake hazards, coastal erosion, volcanic eruption and subsidence/carbonate sinkholes.

The 2010 MGB summary of the rapid geohazard mapping and assessment in Hinabangan, Samar revealed that 3 barangays have high landslide susceptibility, 13 moderate, 3 low and 2 no landslide susceptibility. While for flood, 8 have high susceptibility, 3 moderate, 1 low and 9 no flood susceptibility.

As stated in Republic Act 10121, it is hoped that this activity will likewise enable local officials to take an active lead in creating “informed communities” by knowing foremost how geologically dynamic their areas are and  its  vulnerability to possible geoahazards.