LUCENA CITY -- Amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, fear of volcanic eruption of Mt. Banahaw in Quezon province is now talked about by many residents near its slope following a massive landslide that was documented near its crater in Bgy. Concepcion, in Sariaya, Quezon.
The landslide with an estimated length of 300 to 400 feet and width of 50 to 60 meters was posted in the social media by village chief Casiano Magadia who alleged that he had reported the incident to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Muninicipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) but no action was taken by the two agencies.
The video footage was taken by Barangay Kagawad Gerardo Marcuap who was able to document the rolling rocks and soil from a portion of the legendary mountain on Friday.
Marcuap was also heard mentioning about the smoke coming from the mountain that now brings fear to many residents.
DENR- Protected Area Superintendent Sally Pangan said that necessary action was taken by her office, contrary to the allegation of Magadia.
"In fact, I immediately coordinated on Thursday with Engr. Marcial Vito who heads the Phivolcs Seismic station based in Brgy. Ayuti in Lucban, Quezon,” said Pangan.
Pangan explained that the area has been prone to landslide even during summer.
"Firstly, because the area is a much vertical slope. Secondly, it has no vegetation that should have been protecting the soil from erosion. And lastly, what happened was a clear effect of climate change", Pangan said, adding that natural regeneration would be the best remedy.
She also clarified that what was seen during the landslide was dust and not smoke as alleged by Marcuap while documenting the incident.
"Normally, when a bulk of soil and rock roll down from the mountain, it automatically produces thick dusts. At first and far sight, it would appear as a smoke", Pangan said.
She said around one hectare of land in the mountain was badly affected by the landslide.
Pangan assured the residents that they have nothing to worry about because everything in the dormant mountain remains normal.