EDITORIAL| Landslide woes

TRAFFIC was inordinately heavy yesterday afternoon as a result of the diversion of vehicles plying the CP Garcia Highway. A landslide which happened in the morning covered half the lane and was hazardous to vehicles and to people passing through the vicinity.

The past days, we have experienced heavy rains that has caused flooding in the evenings. This could be one of the causes of the landslide which, thankfully, did not do much damage to lives and properties here.

According to the US Geological Survey website, a landslide is simply the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope. “Landslides are a type of “mass wasting,” which denotes any down-slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity. The term “landslide” encompasses five modes of slope movement: falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows. These are further subdivided by the type of geologic material (bedrock, debris, or earth). Debris flows (commonly referred to as mudflows or mudslides) and rock falls are examples of common landslide types.”

Looking at the photos taken by the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways, we can see that rocks slid down the slope which hardly had vegetation that could have prevented these from toppling down. Huge rocks and soil gathered at the foot of the hill which blocked a portion of the highway.

Along that stretch, we can see similar formations. With development like widening of roads and opening of residential villages, environmental damage is inevitable. Factor in the heavy rains this season and one can see how perilous some parts of the highways has become.

The ongoing disaster response simulation needs to be taken seriously by all of us. Being part of this activity gives us muscle memory that can spell the difference between life and death when disasters do strike. This also tests the capacity of our rescuers to act swiftly, judiciously and effectively during times of calamities.

Natural disasters, including landslides, are the new challenges we have to face and be ready for in this millennium.

Posted in Opinion