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Kidapawan City considers force evacuation of 50 families

 • 20:05 PM Wed Aug 5, 2015
Malu C. Manar
Landslides on a rod leading to Barangay Sibawan, Kidapawan City caused by continuous rain at slopes of Mt. Apo. (Photo by Ely Dulay)

KIDAPAWAN CITY - The Kidapawan City government is planning aforce evacuation of about50 families residing near theslopes on Mt. Apo to prevent loss of lives and properties, a city official today said.The families have beenordered to vacate their homes as Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ICTZ) continues to produce rain at the country's highet peak and the entry of Super Typhoon Hanna in the Philippine area of responsibility. Psalmer Bernalte, city’s disaster risk and reduction management officer (DRRMO), said the city government willuse as basis in implementing the order an ordinance that calls for force evacuation of residents living near slopes and creeks if LGU sensed risks and dangers brought by typhoons and other kinds of calamities. Bernalte saidif rainfall reaches 220 ppm, the city will impose the force evacuation. Since Monday, the Kidapawan LGU has already recorded six incidents of landslides from Sitio Sudsuhayan up to Lake Agko in Barangay Ilomavis, this city.The heavy downpour continued until Wednesday. The areas, all located near boiling Lake Agko, are mountain slopes, thus posing dangers to residents, according to Bernalte. The LGU used a drone to conduct aerial survey of the place. The families to be affectedwould be housed temporarily at the multi-purpose building and a motor pool located near the village hall in Ilomavis. But some residents are reluctant to leave their place. Lolita Atang, resident of Sitio Sudsuhayan, expressed fears that robbers might take advantage of the situation and seize her important belongings. Richor Umpan, one of the tribal leaders, blamed the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) for the landslides and other calamities in the area when it opened the roads leading to the geothermal power plant sites. Before, we were not living in slopes but this EDC took away our land that’s why many of our people have built their houses along the road,” said Umpan. The EDC owns the two biggest geothermal power plants in Barangay Ilomavis. Since Monday, classes in at least three public schools at Barangay Ilomavis have been suspended due to heavy rains. On Wednesday, the school principals of Lake Agko Integrated School, Mount Apo High School, and Sudsuhayan Elementary School, have again requested the Kidapawan City Schools Division for classes suspension due to heavy rain which might cause flooding and landslides.

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