Philippine Geohazard Maps - Know your risk

You'll know summer is over when a little bit of rain causes so much traffic and the city streets get flooded again. An umbrella, colorful rainboots (for the fashionistas) and jackets become staple wardrobe or accessory. Perfect bedweather almost everyday while eating champorado with tuyo.

Okay, just trying to make things a little bit interesting by pointing out a few good things about the rainy season. But its not all good. The rainy season is a nuissance to majority of the populace in the city due to floods, and a life threat to those in mountainous areas due to landslides. It doesn't help that an average of 20 typhoons per year passes by the Philippines Area of Responsibility. Here's a list of the Deadliest typhoons that hit the Philippines, according to Inquirer.
Reference: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net

Unlike birds who can migrate south when weather gets too cold, we stay in one place and live with it. People should however know the geohazards in the areas they live in. So they can prepare themselves for any insurgencies.

Most people don't know, but geohazard maps for the entire Philippines is downloadable thru DENR-MGB's website in 1:50:000 scale. I am proud to have been a part of the making of these maps. When I was a student, I did an (self-imposed) on-the-job training in MGB under the GDIS section of the Geology Department. My task was to digitize topographic maps which is the basemap for creating the geohazard maps. I did get lucky one time, as though I am a student trainee, I was chosen to be part of the Geohazard Project in Bohol Province. But since I was not a full-pledged geologist then, my task was mainly consolidation of the real geologists field data. When they arrive everyday from fieldwork, that's when my work start. Encoding their field observations and ranking of hazards. I would finish the collation of data into a report which will be furnished to the LGU's. Serving them to the town Mayor's also became my task.

An example of the downloadable geohazard map is shown below. The map's color coding scheme represents susceptibility to landslide and flooding. Critical zones are those in Red and Purple which are highly susceptible to landslide and flooding respectively. Green color represents moderate susceptibility to landslide while yellow signifies low susceptibility. Cream color are areas that have low to moderate susceptibility to flooding.

Mountainous regions like Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet provinces as shown below is a Red Zone. It means that these areas are Highly Susceptible to landslides. If your home is located in highly susceptible areas, consider relocating to safer sites especially during the rainy season.
Nueva Viscaya and Benguet province are highly susceptible to landslide. (Source: www.mgb.com.ph)

To view susceptibility of your area to Flood and Landslide, click here.




References:
www.mgb.com.ph

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