Toledo mayor stops quarry operations
Toledo City Mayor John Henry Osmeña on Thursday issued a cease and desist order against the site development and quarry operations in Sitio Kabulihan, Barangay Ilihan after cracks and soil erosion were observed in the area.
The order was to take effect immediately and will continue pending the assessment report of the Cebu provincial government, as well as that of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), according to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) spokesperson Jules Regner.
Osmeña signed the order following the report and recommendation of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO).
Residents living nearby, especially within the 300-meter radius, have been advised to evacuate due to fear of another landslide.
PDRRMO chief Baltazar Tribunalo said it is still unclear whether the landslide that hit the area earlier was caused by quarrying.
Based on the initial report by the PENRO, the developer, Jose Soroneo, applied for a site development project but the local DRRM officers claimed that quarry operations were observed on the upper portion of the site.
In an earlier report, guards at the site claimed that the area was being developed into a subdivision.
Soroneo was granted a special disposal permit to dispose of the cut earth materials from the site. It was approved in October and will expire in January 2019.
Ilihan and its neighboring barangay, Mandugo, requested the PENRO to conduct a hazard assessment on a landslide area near the site being developed. The landslide reportedly happened last December 1 which prompted some residents to evacuate.
An inspection was carried out and found out that there are indeed cracks on the southern side of Soroneo's site with a width of 20-30 centimeters and a depth of 3050 centimeters (half the length of a meter stick).
On the southwest side, a slip soil mass was also noted, which was approximately displaced by 20 meters by width and six meters by height.
Sub-tension cracks were also noted with depths of three to five meters. The soil in the area was also classified as limestone clay, which has a high plasticity index and may cause another slump landslide.
The PENRO report stated that around 20 to 30 homes are at risk if another landslide takes place.