Saturday, September 8, 2012

Are you located in a hazardous spot?

Metro Manila is among the top ten flood-prone areas in the Philippines, according to geo-hazard mapping by the Mines and Geosciences Board. According to MGB's Geological Database Information System, Navotas City and parts of Malabon City are highly susceptible to floods. That means floods can be greater than 1 meter high and usually lasts for hours after heavy rains. Also highly susceptible to floods are Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, and parts of Taguig near Laguna Lake. Parts of Manila, Pasay and Paranaque were identified as having "low to moderate susceptibility to floods." In these areas, flooding is usually less than a meter high and this usually only happens during "prolonged and extensive heavy rainfall or extreme weather condition." Pampanga is the most flood-prone followed by Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Maguindanao, Bulacan, Metro Manila, North Cotabato, Oriental Mindoro, and Ilocos Norte, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources--of which MGB is an attached agency--said. The most land-slide prone areas in the Philippines, meanwhile, are Benguet, Mountain Province, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga-Apayao, Southern Leyte, Abra, Marinduque, Cebu, Catanduanes, and Ifugao. DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said the geo-hazard maps, which are downloadable and also available at local government units, should be used by property developers and prospective homeowners as a guide before building or buying homes. "Buying a house and lot is definitely a big investment for an ordinary family; that they have to pay at the most, for 30 years, if they acquire such through a housing loan. Finding out that their area gets easily flooded and prone to landslide later on would be tragic, so it is better to be on safe side always," he said. The DENR already has geo-hazard maps for the country's 1,634 towns and cities at a scale of 1:50,000 and will be further scaled down to 1:10,000, he said. MGB is also currently doing coastal and marine geo-hazard surveys and assessment, Paje said.