Incessant heavy rains cause landslides, riprap collapse in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY — The incessant heavy monsoon rains have taken its toll on Cordillera, as the region’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) reported 22 incidents of landslide and mudslide, and five incidents of collapse of mountain ripraps across the highland region as of Tuesday evening.

The public is urged to be vigilant, as massive landslides are highly possible with the mountains’ soil getting too soaked up.

“The rain that fell on Baguio has exceeded its threshold,” said Franzes Ivy Carasi, information officer of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) – Cordillera, which serves as the region’s DRRMC secretariat.

Aside from Baguio, the rest of the provinces in the Cordillera have been experiencing continuous rains to this day.

Experiencing landslides, mudslides, and riprap collapse are Baguio, nine incidents; Benguet, eight; Abra, six; Mountain Province, two; and Kalinga, two.

The synoptic station of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Baguio recorded on Tuesday morning 275.6 mm. of rainfall in the city, exceeding the Summer Capital’s 24-hour rainfall threshold of 150 mm.

The heavy downpour had exceeded the City of Pines’ rainfall threshold starting Sunday (Aug.12), when PAGASA recorded 249.2 mm. of rainfall for 24 hours.

PAGASA-Baguio weather observer Efren Dalipog said the amount of rainfall in n Baguio alone poses a high risk of landslide and flooding.

The Department of Agriculture in Cordillera has initially pegged crop damage at PHP2.88 million, aside from five totally damaged and 22 partially damaged houses.

The DRRMC said small-scale mining activities in Itogon, Benguet are still temporarily suspended due to the inclement weather.

It has issued a public advisory to heed all safety instructions and to have pre-emptive evacuation as a precautionary measure against flooding and landslides.

In case of evacuation, the people could seek refuge in public schools and other local government evacuation centers.