A portion of the concrete road leading to the geothermal power plants in Sitio Ticala, Barangay Caidiocan in Valencia town, Negros Oriental, slipped yesterday morning while landslips were also reported in the area after continuous rains of the past days.
Two days earlier the dilapidated and abandoned barangay hall of Puhagan, also in Valencia, fell several hundred meters down the slope in a landslide Wednesday evening.
Caidiocan barangay captain Antonio Tuting said that at around 6 a.m. yesterday, two minor landslides or landslips had been observed, followed by ground movement that caused a portion of the road to slip at 9:20 a.m.
Tuting said the road slowly gave in until it totally collapsed.
He said he believes large volumes of water under the road, had loosened the ground.
It sealed off access to Ticala, where the office of the Energy Development Corporation that owns and operates the geothermal plants in Valencia, is located, and the residential areas in Caidiocan and Puhagan.
That road portion was immediately declared temporarily closed to the public.
No one was reported hurt in the incident but residents were alerted as rains continued without let up yesterday, Tuting said.
Valencia Mayor Edgar Teves, the town police and the rescue unit went the area to assess the damage.
The EDC deployed a team to do its own assessment, and promised assistance in the road restoration, Dwight Maxino, EDC vice president for Southern and Northern Negros Geothermal Projects, said.
Meanwhile, at least three landslides were also reported in the vicinity of the roadslip, Tuting said, and one of them was near the area where steam vents were reported in 2011.
Governor Roel Degamo instructed the Provincial Engineer’s Office to assess the damage at the Caidiocan road, and promised that Capitol will provide necessary assistance.
Degamo, chairman of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, reiterated his call to the public, especially those living in flood and landslide-prone areas, to be vigilant, especially with the continuous rains spurred by the inter-tropical convergence zone.*JFP
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