Classes in Itogon landslide risk areas suspended
THE MUNICIPAL government of Itogon has suspended classes in five schools identified to be on grounds susceptible to landslides.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan declared the suspension on Wednesday during a meeting with the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC), following the latest report of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on the dangers posed by the unstable grounds.
The suspension takes effect Oct. 10 to 12, apparently as a preventive measure against another possible disaster.
Scores of people died in a massive landslide in a mining village in Itogon town at the height of Typhoon Ompong in mid-September.
“Based on the recommendation of the MGB, the mayor has issued a directive suspending classes in the five schools for the safety of the students,” MGB geologist Kelvin Gaerlan said in another special meeting with members of the Regional Development Council that is responsible for looking after the mining town's economic state.
Classes in Ucab Elementary School, Manganese Elementary School, Loacan High School, Ampucao Elementary School, and Ampucao High School have been suspended until Friday because of tension cracks found in the school grounds.
At the exit conference of the CRDRRMC on the Itogon landslide tragedy last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Cordillera (DENR-CAR) said based on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Drone Radar mapping conducted, the said schools were found to be highly susceptible to landslides.
In its report, the DENR recommended the immediate relocation of the schools to prevent a repeat of the landslide in Sitio First Gate at Ucab, Itogon that killed scores of people at the height of Typhoon Ompong last month.
Based on the radar monitoring conducted
after the typhoon, progressing tension cracks are found on the schools' grounds and on the mountain, aside from bulging slopes and seepage and heaving in the schools' concrete structures.
The heads of the five schools were in a meeting as of this posting, on how to distribute the students, aside from possibly setting up a learning shelter at the Itogon Training Center to avoid disruption of their studies.
Based on the updated geohazard mapping of the DENR on Itogon town, aside from the identified geohazard zones earlier mapped, there are other areas identified as even more critical than the geohazard zones because of underground voids and unstable grounds.
FOR SALE. A relative of an Ompong victim helps sell beaded keychains and other items made by displaced family of miners at her store along Diego Silang Street in Baguio City.