CANDIJAY, Bohol — A sinkhole about 1.5 meters deep and at least 1.5 meters wide appeared in the village of Boyo-an in this town following incessant rain last week.
The hole was believed to have been caused by rain water washing away the soil underneath.
A sinkhole is a vacuum or cavern beneath the ground or topsoil waiting for an occurrence of an earthquake or heavy rain to rupture.
Residents said the sinkhole first appeared in December last year with a size of a small ball when the incessant rain started. It gradually widened to at least 1.5 meters last week.
Local officials cordoned off the place after noting many people had gone there to look at the sinkhole.
At least 12 families are living near the sinkhole.
Vicenta Licong, 62, whose house is just a meter away from the sinkhole, said she could not sleep well since the sinkhole widened last week. Her daughter, Teresa, was also worried about the safety of her own two-year old daughter Anna.
So, whenever it would rain at night, they would sleep at her relative’s house for safety.
Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer, said a team from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources was assessing the sinkhole to determine if it posed a threat to the public.
“Initially, MGB identified it as cover collapse type of sink hole,” Lacang said. “It was noted that cavity is already present prior to the ground collapse.”
She said that MGB will inspect it the sinkhole further next week.
“There was an ocular inspection from MGB but they would be back next week with their equipment such as a ground-penetrating radar to further evaluate the sinkhole,” she said.
At least 11 families were evacuated last week to the Boyo-an Elementary Schoo as a precaution, according to Fuentes.
However, the Licong family were unwilling to leave their concrete house.
The sinkhole affected the barangay road that goes through Purok 1 to Sitio Cutan, making it impassable to motorists.
Fuentes said that it was not yet known how long the road would be closed, but motorists had been advised to avoid the area and diversion signs had been put in place.
The road may remain closed for several days, she said.
Several sinkholes started appearing after a magnitude 7.2 quake hit Bohol in October 2013. /atm
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