Southern, Leyte District Engineer Margarita C. Junia.
Southern, Leyte District Engineer Margarita C. Junia.

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Jan. 28 (PNA) -– Maintenance workers have cleared three road sections from minor rock-slides on Wednesday after days of heavy downpour in the province this week.

Flow of traffic was not interrupted by rockslides since debris only blocked half of the road, said Department of Public Works and Highways–Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) District Engineer Ma. Margarita C. Junia.

“Our maintenance team immediately cleared the road from debris with the prepositioning of heavy equipments in strategic areas,” Junia said.

The heavy rains have triggered rockslide and mudslides in Barangay Kahupian, Sogod town; boundary of Barangays Amaga and Tabugon in Liloan town; and Barangay Camang, San Ricardo town.

These road sections are vital link from Leyte to Mindanao as part of the nautical highway’s eastern seaboard route. The DPWH has completed all clearing operations around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

SLDEO Maintenance Section Chief Gideon Sacro said the district office is stepping up their monitoring in landslide prone areas from Sogod town to San Ricardo town during rainy days. There are 40 workers assigned in vulnerable sections.

“We have prepositioned some of our equipments since December 2015 in anticipations of possible rainfall-induced landslides,” Sacro said

Prepositioned near Agas-Agas Bridge in Sogod town are back hoe, bulldozer and two dump trucks. In Barangay Himbangan, Saint Bernard town, the district office has deployed a pay loader and two dump trucks for response in Pacific towns and Panaon Island.

With the recent rockslides, the SLDEO reiterated its proposal to pilot a project that would completely prevent rock falls and soil erosion, utilizing Swiss technology.

The province would be the first in Eastern Visayas to pilot road slope stabilization control system developed by Swiss firm, Geobrugg.

Junia said they are proposing to pilot a section in Barangay Kahupian in Sogod town for the stabilization control project in the most critical section, which has an ascending roadway and multiple blind curves.

The technology, according to Junia, has been used as permanent solution to geohazards in other parts of the country under the Technical Cooperation Projects of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. (PNA)