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Philippines: Denuded forest caused Zambo Sur landslide: DENR

Source:  Copyright 2006, Sun-Star
Date:  August 19, 2006
Byline:  Bong Garcia
Original URL: Status DEAD

AN ENVIRONMENT official blamed the denudation of the forest for the landslide last week in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Ernesto Adobo Jr. said the mountain alongside the highway was already denuded. Only coconuts and bananas were planted on the area and these were "enough to prevent erosion during heavy rains."

The landslide last week brought about by heavy rains accompanying typhoons Inday and Juan paralyzed vehicular traffic, after the Aurora highway--which serves as one of the major links between cities and provinces in Western and Northeastern Mindanao areas--was rendered impassable due to the mudslides.

Three people were killed while several others were wounded when a passenger bus was covered by mud during the landslide.

Adobo said the government could not, however, reforest the mountain alongside Aurora highway, saying it is a private-owned land.

The DENR official said he would try to convince the landowners to plant commercial trees in the area to prevent a similar incident in the near future.

The place has been known as prone to landslide every time there is continuous heavy downpour.

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