Lucsoon Landslide. Photos by Jalmz
Lucsoon Landslide. Photos by Jalmz

By Restituto A. Cayubit
Manila Bulletin

Palo, Leyte – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Eastern Visayas Regional Office (MGB-8), refuted claims and reports that open pit mining operations in Biliran triggered massive landslides at the height of Tropical Storn Urduja.

Raul A. Laput, MGB-8 OIC regional director told the Manila Bulletin that based on records, there are no mining operations in the island province of Biliran.

“My office emphasizes the fact that it has no record of any permit for mining issued within Biliran province,” Laput said.

Director Laput said that based on the assessments made by geologists, the landslides have no connection to any mining activity in the province.

“MGB-8 geologists have not come across any ongoing or remnants of previous open pit mining or quarrying activity within the vicinities of the landslide areas that may have contributed to such occurrence of landslides. The landslides, however, mostly occurred on vegetated areas where coconuts and fruit bearing trees are present,” Laput added.

Laput cited the post geohazard assessment conducted in Biliran on December 28, 2017, showed that the landslides were caused by, among others, intensely weathered, fractured and altered volcanic rocks with clay materials underlying the areas, continuous heavy rainfall brought about by tropical storm Urduja which loosened the topsoil with boulders and uprooted the trees, slope gradients of approximately more than 45% which is considered very high based on established MGB Landslide Susceptibility Rating parameter and presence of points of weaknesses along roadcuts, riverbank portions and sloping mountainous areas. – Manila Bulletin

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