Families Living Near Cebu City Dumpsite Evacuated

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – At least 71 families living close to the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill were immediately evacuated on Thursday after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the lives of those in the area at risk.

Personnel from the Cebu City Hall aided the families in the immediate evacuation after authorities found a huge crack in the mountain of garbage inside the landfill, which could trigger a landslide.

Rama he had directed the Department of Public Services and the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCRRMC) to enforce the evacuation within 24 hours and get all those people from the danger zone.

Residents living near a mountain of garbage at the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill in Cebu City heed the order of the government to evacuate. Photo by JCDV for BusinessNewsAsia.com
Residents living near a mountain of garbage at the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill in Cebu City heed the order of the government to evacuate.  [Photo by JCDV for BusinessNewsAsia.com]
Rama’s order was based on the risk assessment conducted by CCDRRMC last month, when the body recommended the transfer of the families that were all living within five to 15 meters from the mountain of garbage in the landfill.

Yesterday, affected families complied with the evacuation order after they saw the huge crack in the mountain of garbage. The crack, experts said, could cause a massive landslide that could affect houses within the danger zone.

There were some who tried to resist the evacuation order, saying they have been living in the area for decades, but City Hall personnel managed to get everyone out of the danger zone at noon yesterday.

Rama said that even from the start these families were already aware of the danger of their living condition and the need for them to transfer to safer grounds.

“There is imminent danger,” Rama told reporters.

The affected families were temporarily brought to the barangay gym, their temporary shelter while the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) and the barangay are preparing for the site where they will be permanently placed.

Built in 1998, the 15-hectare Inayawan landfill was designed to last only for seven years but remained in use despite its scheduled closure in 2005. The landfill was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. – BusinessNewsAsia.com

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