June 21, 2024

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau said initial findings showed continuous rain in Banaue, Ifugao drenched the soil that it was no longer able to hold water, leading to the flashfloods that hit the town.

“Based on site photographs of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the ones documented by residents posted on social media, the flashflood was accompanied by mud and debris, thus earthflow was apparent. If indeed rainfall preceded from July 2 to 6, interpretatively, oversaturation has occurred within the underlying lithology of the affected area, thus, voluminous surface run-off is expected,” said MGB-Cordillera Director Fay Apil in a report submitted to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC).

The report said according to Pagasa, 13 of the 18 barangays of Banaue were under a yellow rainfall warning from July 2 to 6 with a rainfall measurement of 100 to 119 millimeters.

“Heavy rainfall apparently proceeded up to July 7 where series of flashflooding and landslide occurred,” Apil said.

Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Director Cameron Odsey said an initial assessment showed P16.68 million worth of rice, corn, and highland crops were damaged in the flashflood.

He said high-value crops sustained the biggest damage at P10,111,390 followed by rice at P4,548,600; livestock at P1,951,000; and corn at P76,800.

“We have personnel who traveled to Ifugao to validate the damage,” Odsey said.

He said Banaue has a limited production of vegetables and rice, mostly for local trade and consumption, thus will not affect the food supply transported to other parts of the region.

Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Albert Mogol said a team from the Regional DRRMC and the MGB is in Banaue to pursue a thorough assessment of the incident.

“MGB’s report is initial and based on information gathered from the local DRRM and the Pagasa and is now a subject of thorough assessment and site inspection,” he said.

Mogol called on the public to exercise caution and precaution as the effects of the rainy season is already be felt.

The region, with its mountainous landscape, is prone to landslides caused by rains throughout the year, especially during the monsoon season. – PNA