A portion of the shoreline in Candelaria, Zambales, a popular tourist destination, collapsed Saturday afternoon, causing the sea to move inland, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) said.
MGB Director Leo Jasareno said Sunday his office is investigating the cause of the collapse of the shoreline, which slumped at a depth of two meters.
“This may be a natural phenomenon. There may have been soil erosion because of the strength of the tidal waves or there may be a sinkhole,” Jasareno said, citing initial results of the investigation.
Based on reports, about 80-100 meters of the beach area of Puerto del Mar in Candelaria sank by about two meters and the sea moved landward by about 10 meters.
“The shoreline collapsed started as small then becoming elongate trending north. It started from a central point progressing northwards and southwards approximate length of 80-100 meters,” Jasareno said in a text message.
“The shoreline collapse coincided with low tide,” he added.
Jasareno said the sea turned brown and emitted fine gas bubbles with a sulfurous odor.
There were no fatalities reported as a result of the phenomenon, but Jasareno said that the army is securing the area.
Authorities have also banned swimming and other activities on the beach.
Jasareno said an eight-man team of MGB geologists was expected to arrive in Candelaria Sunday to determine the exact cause of the slump.
“We will also be determining if the same phenomenon is occurring in nearby areas,” he said, adding that the team was given three days to come up with results.
JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ