MGB warns of “sinkholes” in Davao City

SAMAL ISLAND, DAVAO GULF AND PART OF DOWNTOWN DAVAO CITY seen from Matina Shrine Hills which is to be developed into green park

‘Shrine Hills prone to collapse’

By ROGER M. BALANZA

          The Mines and Geosciences Bureau warned the GSIS Village and Matina Hills sit on a veritable ‘sinkhole’ owing to its weak limestone foundations that could lead to liquification and collapse.

            Regional direcrtor Edilberto Arreza  said except for these two, sinkholes could be a rarity in other areas which are atop impervious rocks that prevernts sinkholes.

            GSIS Village in Matina is a mass housing subdivision for government workers opened in the 1060s. Matina Hills, towering 300 meters above ground, has been in the limelight of late as high-end developers built housing projects on its eastern slopes. The project stirred up residents of subdivisions below the hill who feared of landslides could swallow their villages if the slopes give way due to land developments. Among developers building high-end housing projects in Matina Hills are the Crown Communities and the Consunji Group of Companies.

            While the presence of aquifers puts the city at risk most of these aquifers are sandwiched by tough, impervious rocks that severely limits the possibility of sinkhole formation,” Arreza said.

            But in GSIS and Matina Hills, the aquifers underneath have soft limestone formations, he said.

            Sinkholes are characterized by sudden collapse of land formations due to weak foundations.

            Arreza however said GSIS and Matina Hills are habitable with engineering interventions required by MGB on housing developers that prevents the area from becoming a sinkhole.

            But he said landslides in the area is inevitable, with the lower areas prone to floods from run-off water during heavy rains.

“If there will be construction work in a high-risk area, we require building contractors to apply necessary engineering interventions to mitigate the risks, sinkholes are quite rare, the greater threats are landslides and floods,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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