Vulnerability, risk assessment ongoing in Western Visayas

THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) continues its vulnerability and risk assessment (VRA) survey in Western Visayas, targeting 12 municipalities before the year ends.

Mae Magarzo, chief geologist of MGB-6 (Western Visayas), said on Wednesday that the VRA is a more detailed survey. It is the bureau’s newest project that produces risk exposure maps based on three elements: population, buildup areas, and road networks.

Magarzo said the VRA is necessary for risk exposure maps because it can help local officials plan their evacuation when disasters occur, assess priorities on who will be evacuated first, as well as who will immediately be provided relief goods.

The project has covered 30 municipalities since it began in 2015.

The 12 target municipalities in Western Visayas are Anini-y, Tangalan, Concepcion, Carles, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Balasan, Estancia, Nabas, Sibalom, and Libertad.

She said the VRA survey will continue until they are able to cover the 133 municipalities across Western Visayas in the next three years.

Their information and education campaign already covered 22 municipalities this year.

“There are threat advisories in each barangay and we would always remind them to be always ready to evacuate in case there are announcements,” Magarzo said.

The MGB is mandated to complete the VRAs of municipalities in Iloilo next year.

Meanwhile, she warned that certain provinces in Panay Island are always prone to landslide and flooding, such as the portions along Leon, Tubungan, Igbaras, Miag-ao, Maasin, and Cabatuan.

The towns of Libacao in Aklan, Valderrama in Antique, Tapaz in Capiz, Jordan in Guimaras and Leon in Iloilo are the most landslide-prone areas.

Portions of Iloilo City are always prone to flooding due to problems in its drainage system.

Based on the risk exposure map, areas along the Aganan River and Jalaur River, both found in Iloilo, are colored dark blue, which means they are highly susceptible to flooding.

Waters may rise up to more than two meters and may last for more than three days in these areas. (Mae Padilla and Marvin Mongao, OJTs/PNA)


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