ZAMBOANGA CITY – Three major programs of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-IX, Geosciences Division for the FY 2022 commence in February in line with the national targets of DENR-MGB. These field programs are Geologic Quadrangle Mapping, Updating of 1:10,000 scale Geohazard Map and Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) , and Coastal Geohazard Assessment. The programs are conducted in various areas in the provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula. Other equally important programs of the division are set to start within the quarter such as the Intensive Education Campaign (IEC) on the Geohazard Map and VRA and Groundwater Resource Assessment.

Geologic Quadrangle Mapping

The program is conducting the geologic mapping in Bagolibud Point Quadrangle that covers mostly the Municipality of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay.  Field activities in the program includes examination of rock exposures along with accessible tracks and in coastal areas, physical and megascopic description of outcrops and rock samples, structural feature measurements of prevalent deformation and sedimentary structures, and rock sampling of representative lithology and favorable units that contain fossils and minerals.

Photo 1. An exposure along the coastal section of Brgy. Linguisan, Municipality of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay examined in detail by the mapping team. This is a melange body composed of turbidite sequence, chert and talc-chlorite schist in contact with the ultramafic block.

Coastal Vulnerability and Assessment Mapping

As part of the National Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program, a team is undertaking a coastal geohazard assessment along the coast of the Municipalities of Salug and Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte. The program will identify the physical vulnerabilities to the changing climate that can cause accelerated sea-level rise, coastal erosion, subsidence and coastal flooding that will have a relevant impact on the livelihood, infrastructure, environment and built-up areas along the coastline.

Photo 2. Assessing the physical damage along the coast in Purok 7, Brgy. Mucas, Municipality of Salug. Advancing wave height devastated sections of built-up areas made from concrete and light materials. As reported by the locals, the incident occurred in January 2022.

Geohazard Map Updating and Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA)

As a flagship program under the National Geohazard Assessment and Mapping Program, the MGB-IX team is starting off its program in the Municipality of Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur. The program is set to update the present 1:10,000 scale geohazard map of the municipality and assess the vulnerabilities of elements at risk (population, built-up areas and infrastructure) from the different susceptibilities to hydrometeorological hazards, flooding and landslides. Output of the program is crucial in the formulation of various municipal plans such as land-use, disaster preparedness and other programs of the target municipality.

Photo 2. Part of the assessment is conducting anecdotal interviews in the barangays of the municipality. A barangay official of Brgy. Begong, Municipality of Tigbao is being interviewed here regarding the susceptibility of landslides and possible areas occurring in flood prone zones. Threat advisory is also handed with regards to the hazards identified in the area and its potential recommendations. 

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