The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will look into the possible culpability of quarry operators whose stockpiles were washed away by lahar and water during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) in Albay province over the weekend.
“We’ll investigate even their quarrying procedure because they shouldn’t have placed the stockpiles in rivers there,” DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said in his report during Cabinet meeting Monday evening aired over PTV-4.
DENR will also examine the operators’ respective quarrying permits which the provincial government issued.
Cimatu said the deluge of quarrying stockpiles, water, and lahar from Mayon Volcano during the super typhoon’s onslaught reportedly killed four people.
He already ordered the suspension of all quarrying operations around the volcano.
The suspension will remain while tropical cyclones are still forthcoming to help prevent the occurrence of another deadly deluge involving quarrying stockpiles, he noted.
Citing results of his initial investigation, Cimatu said water and lahar cascaded over Mt. Mayon’s slopes and flowed into three rivers where 11 operators were quarrying.
“Some of them left their stockpiles in the middle of those rivers,” he said, adding that water and lahar that flowed in the rivers washed away the stockpiles there.
Such deluge affected houses along the rivers, he said, noting that the DENR will continue investigating the matter.
Last week, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warned of possible lahar flows from Mayon Volcano and muddy run-offs in rivers and drainage areas due to downpour from “Rolly”.
Phivolcs urged communities near Mt. Mayon to prepare for such occurrences.
“Rolly” already exited landmass and is no longer directly affecting the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration. (PNA)