Its been almost a month now since the tragic and destructive 6.9 magnitude quake that rocked Negros and Cebu and left more than 100 casualties and millions of damages, but the fear and trauma continue to haunt the people, particularly those in hard-hit areas in northern Negros Oriental. The threat and risk of further destruction to life and property remain potent in many areas.
Just this week, sinkholes were reported in Dumanjug, Cebu along with a quake-related water swirls in the shore of a nearby barangay. Today, another similar phenomenon occurred in another Cebu town, Dalaguete. All point to the quake as the possible cause. According to the US Geological Survey, sinkholes “are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground”. The Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau – Region 7 of the DENR is inconclusive on the phenomenon as they are still awaiting for the needed equipment to evaluate the exact cause of the sinkholes and other related occurrences in the area.
Last week, foremost environmentalist and former DENR Secretary Angel Alcala also warned of possible risk of flashfloods and destruction should the now famous Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao and Danao) of Sibulan in Negros Oriental give way following a strong tremor due to ‘a four intersecting geologic faults’ supposedly situated directly below said bodies of water. This, he said may have tragic effects to downstream communities of Sibulan, Amlan, San Jose, and Valencia, one that resembled that of a reported volcanic activity and eventual flashfloods in Mt Parker in South Cotabato in the mid 90s.
In the meantime, authorities remind residents in affected areas to remain vigilant for possible geological changes in their areas, especially those areas identified are landslide, flood or tsunami-prone areas to any untoward incidents.