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MGB: 184 hectares in Itogon highly susceptible to landslides

A total of 184 hectares of land in Itogon, Benguet were declared highly susceptible to landslides by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

According to a 24 Oras report by Saleema Refran on Wednesday, the most critical zone was the area where the landslide, which killed more than 70 individuals, occurred.

The report said there is a huge chance that another landslide would take place there, especially when heavy rains again hit the area.

The report added that there were already tension cracks near the Itogon-Antamok Road, which serves as the "staging area" of rescuers going to ground zero.

A certain drone map showed that there are still active landslides in Barangay Ucab. It also showed the cracks within the municipal office in Barangay Poblacion.

Meanwhile, in Sitio Goldfield, rocks were also found to have fallen on roads due to landslides.

The MGB also discovered active landslides in other areas such as Barangay Virac in Sitio Batuang, Sitio Balatoc, Sitio Bubon, Sitio City Limit and Barangay Ampucao.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) pointed out that authorities have to immediately act on the matter, saying that residents must be relocated.

However, according to presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, relocation sites are still not determined by the government.

"Wala talagang paglilipatan, ayaw naman natin magkaroon ng pabahay doon sa isang danger zone din," Tolentino said.

The local government said more or less 500 families from six barangays in Itogon need to be relocated.

In preparation for Typhoon Paeng, a tent city is being built at the Benguet Sports Complex in La Trinidad in case there is a need for preemptive evacuation.

"Sumunod po tayo, nakita naman na po natin ang resulta kapag hindi sumusunod... unnecessary loss of lives," said retired Major General Ruben Carandang, director of Office of Civil Defense in CAR. — Anna Felicia Bajo/BM, GMA News