DENR-8 cites damage to environment caused by powerful Leyte earthquake » Manila Bulletin News

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By Restituto A. Cayubit

Tacloban City — The 6.5 magnitude earthquake that jolted Leyte and other parts of the Visayas earlier this month, aside from damaging infrastructure, likwise had adverse effects on the environment, particularly in Ormoc City and the municipalities of Kananga, Jaro, Burauen and Carigara, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Eastern Visayas (DENR-8) based here said.

Life goes on — Displaced residents of Lake Danao in Ormoc City settle in at the Dona Feliza Mejia Gymnasium since numerous aftershocks following the July 6 magnitude 6.5 earthquake rendered their baranagay unsafe for habitation. (Nestor Abrematea|Manila Bulletin)

DENR-8 regional director Leonardo Sibbaluca bared that numerous landslides occurred in the virgin forests along the Ormoc-Kananga -Burauen-Jaro-Carigara corridor, a known lair of endangered Philippine eagle.

Sibbaluca lamented that the landslides damaged forests and the natural habitat of other wildlife species.

Geologists who conducted a geo-hazard assessment, according to Sibbaluca, discovered that aside from the landslides, numerous cracks on mountainsides were discovered.

He added that the cracks may eventually cause more landslides, triggered by heavy rains and another powerful earthquake.

“The earthquake has inflicted cracks on the mountains and increased the risks of landslides if another tremor will happen or heavy rains will occur,” Sibbaluca said.

 volunteers assisting evacuees while some children  find time to rest and sleep. (Nestor Abrematea|Manila Bulletin)

Volunteers assisting evacuees while some children find time to rest and sleep. (Nestor Abrematea|Manila Bulletin)

He explained that these cracks will accumulate water, become saturated and trigger landslides.

Sibbaluca also bared that the water level in Danao Lake declined by one meter.

Danao Lake is one of the tourist attractions of Ormoc City and a major source of water of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District that provides water to this city and seven other towns of Leyte.

He, however, clarified that the water is still safe to drink.

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