After killer temblor, sea swamps coastal town


CLARIN, Bohol: The 7.2-magnitude killer earthquake that shook Bohol province and Cebu City over a week ago left this town-61 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City-three feet under water.

High tide-driven seawater swamped this town because of massive land fissures left in the wake of the killer earthquake, Alejandro Dacapio, 46, of Sitio San Pedro Poblacion Norte told structural engineers of the Team Albay OCD (oceanic convergent boundary) Bicol humanitarian mission.

The Albay humanitarian team and OCD Bicol led by Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) is also helping its sister province to check the stability of infrastructures including houses against the brunt of the killer quake.

Dacapio said that the village of San Pedro Poblacion turns into a ghost town at night after the residents abandoned the place, dreading the sinking of land areas as a series of temblors and aftershocks pushed the seawater to swamp the community.

“Sea level goes knee deep at 1.8-meter high tide alone. This is very alarming because at 2.1-meter high tide the sea level rise is expected to be waist deep, which occurs from the months of December to March starting 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and in the months of May to August from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the day,” he said.

“We’re afraid because the sea is engulfing our land gradually. The sea is filling in the big cracks in a number of areas and taking the land where our houses have stood for several decades,” Dacapio told The Manila Times.

Residents of coastal communities in this town devastated by the killer earthquake are temporarily staying in shanties set up along roads, under the trees, in the local elementary school, municipal plaza and church premises for safety.

The 7.2-magnitude killer quake with epicentre in Sagbayan town killed 182 persons and left massive destruction in government and private infrastructures.

Toto Bacolcol, Phivolcs associate scientist told The Manila Times that the Boholanons must be prepared at all times as the town is situated in the east Bohol fault.

Bacolcol said that the most quake-devastated towns were Katigbihan, Sagbayan, Maribojoc, Loon, Balilihan, Danao, Catigbian, Buenavista, Calape, Antequera, Cortes, San Isidro, Inabanga, Clarin, Tubigon and Tagbilaran City.

Bohol largely sits on limestone, easily dissolved when wet and even weakened from acid rain which could trigger landslides or sinkholes, Bacolcol told The Manila Times.


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