E. Samar has no plan to declare state of calamity despite damage
BORONGAN CITY- Despite the destructions caused by the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the Eastern Samar province, the provincial government has no plan to place it under a state of calamity.
Thus said its disaster risk management officer, Perry Balase, adding that the various public infrastructures destroyed by the massive August 31 earthquake belong to the national government.
As this developed, an official of the regional office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has confirmed that the big opening of sand discovered in Maydolong town, 17 kms away from this provincial capital, was a sinkhole mostly as a result of the earthquake.
Balase said that while there were several roads and bridges and even a hospital that suffered damages, the provincial government does not see a need to place it under a state of calamity.
“I have a meeting with Governor (Conrado) Nicart whether the province will be placed under a state of calamity or not. He said there is no need to do that considering that most of the damaged infrastructures were considered to be part of the national government like the DPWH ( Department of Public Works and Highways),” Balase said.
The 7.6 magnitude quake has damaged about P12 million various infrastructures like roads and bridges with about 207 houses suffered either partially or totally destroyed. Majority of those houses were said to be made of light materials.
Of the 24 towns, to include Borongan City, only the towns of General MacArthur, Guiuan, Hernani, Mercedes, San Julian and Quinapondan reported damages to the provincial disaster risk reduction management council which Balase heads.
But Mayor Viscuso de Lira of Balangiga said that his town also suffered some damages.
A wooden bridge located in Barangay Santa Rosa, which connects several upland villages, was cut and cracks were seen at the municipal hall building.
Several cracks were also seen at the provincial government maintained hospital, the Albino M.Duran Memorial Hospital (AMDMH), located in his town, de Lira said.
“We are still waiting for assistance from the provincial government. Up to now, they have yet to provide us any assistance,” the mayor said.
Almost all sections of the MDMH, a 25-bed capacity constructed in 1971 suffered several cracks.
“Though the hospital suffered some damages, we still welcome patients. The current condition of the hospital will not stop us from accepting patients,” says its administrative official Alberto Canillas.
Meantime, geologist Seferino de la Cruz of the MGB-8 said that the opening discovered along the beach in Barangay Omawas, Maydolong was a sinkhole.
“Most likely, the sinkhole was due to the earthquake that hit this part of the province. The area where this sinkhole is located could be the weakest area reason why there’s opening. There was displacement of its cavities due to the earthquake,” de la Cruz said.
The MBG, headed by its regional director Roger de Dios, made an inspection an at the site yesterday.
de la Cruz said that the area where the sinkhole was discovered is of limestone which he said to be composed of calcium carbonate which is soluble to water.
The sinkhole measures about six meter in depth and six in diameter, was said to have developed after the earthquake, residents of Omawas said.
But when the team of MGB visited the area, they have estimated that the sink hole could just be two meters deep and about six meters in diameter.
“But there is nothing to worry. They can just cover it,” MGB’s chief de Dios said.
The sink hole is located some 20 meters away from the residential area of Omawas, three kilometers from the town proper of Maydolong. (JOEY A. GABIETA)
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