Gov?t distributes detailed geohazard maps of ?Yolanda?-hit towns

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One year after super typhoon ?Yolanda? ravaged Eastern Visayas, the government is now distributing larger scale and more detailed geohazard maps of majority of the towns affected by the disaster.

Photo credit: DENR-MGB
Photo credit: DENR-MGB

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said that so far, 131 out of the 171 municipalities in nine Yolanda-hit provinces now have geohazard maps with a 1:10,000 scale.

The DENR, through its Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), is also finalizing the same high-resolution maps for the remaining 40 towns covering five provinces.

DENR secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the geohazard maps, which indicate areas vulnerable to floods and landslides, are an important tool in disaster risk reduction and management.

“With the 1:10,000 scale geohazard maps, the degree of vulnerability to floods and landslides can be determined in these areas. These maps, which are more detailed and more precise, will enable national and local authorities to see clearly what’s on the ground,” Paje explained.

The completed maps cover towns in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Dinagat Island and Palawan.

The MGB has yet to complete the detailed geohazard maps for towns in the provinces of Masbate, Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental.

Paje said all LGUs, down to the barangay level will, be provided copies of new maps, complete with recommendations.

?The LGUs bear the principal responsibility for disaster response, and we hope they will use the maps as an evaluation tool to plan their resettlement and rebuilding efforts,? Paje said.

He added: ?With these maps, local executives, their barangays and other concerned agencies are now in a better position to craft their disaster management plans and programs.?

He said the new maps would replace previous ones with a scale of 1:50,000.

“The new maps are more precise than those with 1:50,000 scale, thus fast-tracking rehabilitation and development efforts, including proactive measures on disaster prevention and preparedness, especially by LGUs,” Paje pointed out.

The DENR launched the detailed geohazard mapping program in 2011 following the completion of the initial nationwide mapping at a scale of 1:50,000.

Paje said the detailed maps identify the vulnerabilities of LGUs to threats like landslide, flooding, sea-level rise, and storm surge.

The DENR had allocated some P354 million for the detailed geohazard mapping in various disaster-prone areas in the country as part of the agency?s efforts to enhance the preparedness of LGUs and the implementation of various mitigation measures against natural disaster.

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