Gov, kin visit site; inspection set today
Water has started to come out of a 20-meter wide, 100-meter deep sink hole in a farm in barangay Cambuang, Dumanjug town yesterday.
Land caretaker Walter Pesalbon told Cebu Daily News he had no idea where the water came from.
He said he and some neighbors tasted the water that wasn’t salty. The seashore in their area is located a kilometer away.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, her father Rep. Pablo Garcia of Cebu’s 2nd district and her brother Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia visited the area at past 5 p.m. yesterday.
They stayed for 30 minutes checking on the sink hole and talking to the residents there.
Personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be inspecting the area today.
Pesalbon said the owner expressed willingness to cooperate to know how the sinkhole was formed.
Geologists of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas (MGB-7) earlier warned residents to stay away from the sinkhole.
Geologist Maria Elena Lupo said the sinkhole may give way anytime.
She said they don’t know how wide and deep it will be and when the soil will stop caving in.
Lupo, MGB-7 senior geologist, said the agency lacks the equipment to check the extent of “cavities” formed underground.
She said these empty gaps on the subsurface of the land are often found in volcanic or limestone areas.
Lupo said local officials should evacuate nearby households. She said soil in limestone areas can easily weaken in water during heavy rains.
Once the soil dissolves underground, it creates a gap that would eventually connect with other “cavities,” she said. “When there are ground movements, it would create the sinkhole,” Lupo said.
Lupo said the sinkhole could have been triggered by the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Negros Oriental and Cebu last Feb. 6.
The DENR-MGB 7 previously observed the presence of sinkholes in 14 barangays in Cebu province.
Eleven of these barangays are in Tuburan town in northwestern Cebu, one each in Argao town, Ronda town and in Dumanjug town. Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus with a story from Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya