A hole formed on Juana Osmeña Street in uptown Cebu City but authorities said it is an infrastructure glitch and far from being a sinkhole. Aldo Nelbert Banaynal

Hole on Juana Osmeña infra glitch, not sinkhole
(The Freeman) - November 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — The hole that formed on Juana Osmeña Street in Cebu City yesterday is not a sinkhole.

This was clarified by the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management following an inspection by personnel of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - 7.

“Dili diay to sinkhole. Ni-collapse lang ang drainage system didto. Dunay usa ka culvert ba natangtang maoy hinungdan nga dunay nahugno nga yuta kay pagkatangtang, ang tubig wala na mosubay sa kanal,” said CCDRRMO head Nagiel Bañacia.

He said MGB personnel went to the area immediately upon request of CCDRRMO.

MGB-7 Geologist, Dr. Dennis Gerald Aleta, said gushing drainage runoff from the old culvert has scoured the fill/gravel materials underlying the sewer system.

“It has been recommended to cordon the area to avoid untoward related accidents. Heavy equipment/ vehicles should not be allowed to pass this area for the time being. It has also been recommended to immediately conduct drainage repairs,” said MGB information officer Marian Codilla.

CCDRRMO received the report at about 4 a.m. from a security guard stationed near the area. The hole formed right beside the sidewalk at the end of Juana Osmeña Street near General Maxilom Avenue.

Bañacia said the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) will conduct engineering mitigation and repair work will take at least four days.

He said the road is passable but a traffic enforcer will be stationed near the hole to help facilitate vehicle traffic.

In line with this, the City Council approved the resolution of Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairperson of the council committee on infrastructure, for DEPW to prepare the program of works and estimates (POWE) so that a drainage culvert can be installed.

Unlike the one that formed on Juana Osmeña Street, sinkholes, considered as a geological hazard, happen when carbonate rocks are dissolved by water.

This slow geological process, is often unnoticeable, MGB said.

The dissolved carbonate rocks create cavernous space underground forming caves. When there is no longer underground support, the ground from above will collapse.

Sinkholes can also form if a corroded limestone area is disturbed by natural tremors such as earthquakes or by human induced activities, including blasting. (FREEMAN)

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