Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Salceda to MGB: Probe Manito landslide

LEGAZPI CITY – Albay Governor Joey Salceda has asked the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau to investigate Sunday morning’s landslide in Manito town after residents blamed the Energy Development Corp. for the incident.

Manito, Albay landslide
Manito, Albay landslide
Photo by Albert Gutierrez
A two-kilometer long stretch of earth slid down the 400-meter mountain where where the geothermal operation of EDC is located, burying at least 15 houses and affecting 92 families, or 344 persons, in Sitio Inang Maharang, Barangay Nagotgot in Manito, at the height of tropical storm “Amang.”

The landslide also buried 90 hectares of rice fields and 75 hectares of vegetable farms.

Responding to the incident, Manito Mayor Caesar Daet said the victims will be relocated to a safe area.

But on Tuesday, furious landslide victims staged a protest action and barricaded the village road, preventing employees and vehicles of EDC from passing through the area.
Salceda had to ask the Philippine National Police to help pacify the enraged residents and urged the MGB to probe their claims.

“We’re asking Arlene Dayao of MGB-Bicol to conduct an investigation on the incident before coming up with necessary solutions since the MGB is the authority. Then we will discuss the findings and make solutions,” Salceda said.

He also directed the Manito mayor to talk to the victims and the Provincial Social Welfare Office to ensure food supply.

Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office, said, "Manito is one of the landslide-prone towns in Albay with historic and rhetoric landslide occurrences since time immemorial."


Albay police director Superintendent Marlo Meneses reported that the residents’ barricades had been removed.—by Rhaydz B. Barcia, PNA

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