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Aldrin Geoffrey M.

Manao
BSIE 5-2

November 24, 2015


Environmental Engineering

Article:

Deforestation blamed for landslides in Leyte


Updated December 22, 2003 - 12:00am

Severe deforestation, days of rain and mountainous terrain triggered landslides that crashed
down on several towns in Leyte at the weekend, burying entire villages, an expert said.
Around 200 people were dead or missing after tons of mud slammed into villages near the
remote towns of Liloan, Maasin and San Francisco in southern Leyte, and on the northeastern
part of Mindanao Island, rescuers said.
The mountainous area has been subjected to heavy deforestation which has reduced the waterholding capacity of the land and can make it sloppy, leading to mudslides, government weather
forecaster Leny Ruiz told Agence France Presse.
"The area is mountainous, but the main problem there is the mountains have been shorn of
trees," he said.
The heavy rains over the past few days could not be described as abnormal for this time of the
year, he said, but the dearth of trees had created a dangerous situation.
"Before (the deforestation), there were no problems of flooding or landslides there," Ruiz said.
Heavy logging; much of it illegal; upland migration and agricultural expansion have steadily cut
back the Philippines; forests.
By the late 1980s, forests covered 22 percent, or 6.6 million hectares, of the country from 34
percent in the previous decade, according to the Indonesia-based Center for International
Forest Research.
It said most of the degraded areas are mountainous and face "severe erosion problems."
The weather can also pour trouble down on Leyte, which is near the equator and subject to
volatile equatorial air systems.
On Nov. 5, 1991, unprecedented massive flash floods descended on the city of Ormoc on
northern Leyte, killing nearly 4,000 people and leaving about 50,000 others homeless.

"That one was caused by a thunderstorm concentrated in one area, turning it into a funnel that
unleashed sudden flooding," Ruiz said.
An average of 19 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines every year mainly from the Pacific,
killing an average of 500 people, official data show.
The 1991 and 2003 Leyte disasters were unique in that they happened outside the typhoon
season.
Ruiz said the weather bureau had observed in Leyte weather systems associated with the intertropical convergence zone (ICTZ) as well as the edge of a cold front over China when the rains
began last week.
The ICTZ phenomenon, which occurs on both sides of the equator, leads to thunderstorms and
relatively low surface pressures and causes a strong upward motion of air that is laden with
precipitation.
The edge of the cold front, meanwhile, interacts with warmer air from the Pacific, triggering
rainfall, Ruiz said.
In the decade that followed the Ormoc disaster, the government built a series of slit dams, the
first of their kind in the Philippines, and bridges around the city.
President Arroyo, who unveiled the newly completed first phase two years ago, said the dams
were "designed to trap floating logs and debris to prevent them from clogging up the river
channels."
The government also built drainage works, hydraulic drops and slope protection structures
along the Anilao and Malbasag rivers to protect Ormoc from the floods unleashed by heavy
rains.
But these measures have been of little use to the 123 villagers were who still missing and
feared dead after the weekend; landslides, with 77 bodies recovered by an army of rescuers by
Sunday; AFP

Reaction:
Due to rains and severe deforestation in mountains, it caused landslides on town in
Leyte that buried the entire villages. Heavy deforestation is the main reason why there are
mudslides in the area. It reduced the water holding capacity of the land and made it sloppy.
Around 200 people were dead and missing after the mud slammed the villages near the towns
of Liloan, Maasin and San Francisco in Southern Leyte. Severe Deforestation will put Leyte in
trouble because of its location. It is near the equator and subject to volatile equatorial air
systems. Leyte is in Pacific, where typhoons and storms were usually formed. Based on data,
average of 19 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines every year mostly in the Pacific that killed
many people. The disaster was the same as what happened in Ormoc City in Leyte. Nov 5,
1991, unprecedented massive flash flood descended on the city of Ormoc on Northern Leyte,
that kills 4000 people and 50000 were homeless. After the incident, the government built a
series of slit dams and bridges. The dams were designed to trap floating logs and debris to
prevent them from clogging up the river channels. The government also built drainage works,
hydraulic drogps and slope protection structures along the Anilao and Malbasag rivers to protect
the city from the floods unleashed by heavy rain.
Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to
the quality of the land. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to
money or to peoples need to provide for their families. The biggest driver of deforestation is
agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock.
Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a
loss of habitat for millions of species. Deforestation also drives climate change. Forest soils are
moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also help
perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to
fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts. Deforestation has
big impact in Leyte, it resulted into mudslides, landslides, and floods that killed many people
when there was heavy rains or typhoons.
The problem in deforestation will be solved if the laws and ordinances in the area were
properly implemented. Trees that have been cut should be replaced by new ones. In that action,
deforestation will be controlled.

Advantages:

Deforestation provides the materials for various industries, such as logs for the logging

industry and trees for the paper industry


Cutting down trees provides charcoal, a source of energy.

Disadvantages:

Deforestation destroys the habitats of millions of species of plants and animals that will

need the areas of forest to survive.


When there are more carbon monoxide atoms going to the atmosphere, the volume of

oxygen would decline. Such is the case of ozone depletion.


Mudslides, landslides, floods will occur

Conclusion
This article/news gave information what will happen if deforestation continues in our
country. Theres no problem in cutting trees because the country need these to produce the
things that the people needed for their daily living but it should be replaced by new ones.

Quotation:
Forests are the worlds air-conditioning systems the lungs of the planet and we are
on the verge of switching it off
Prince Charles

Reference:
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/232526/deforestation-blamed