Albay gov says to suspend quarrying operations after Rolly devastation

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2020 08:20 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2020 08:28 AM

More than 300 residential houses are buried in mud and giant boulders swept by Super Typhoon Rolly in San Francisco, Guinobatan, Albay. Courtesy of Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co

MANILA - Albay Governor Al Bichara said Wednesday he would suspend quarrying operations in the province to make way for government's investigation after erstwhile Super Typhoon Rolly's devastation.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu had ordered the suspension of quarrying operations around Mayon Volcano after initial investigation showed some of the quarry operators left their stockpiles in the middle of the rivers, which were then washed away by floodwaters and submerged houses.

The world's strongest storm this year left at least 10 dead in the province, officials earlier said.

Bichara earlier claimed the debris and boulders that Rolly swept into a community in Guinobatan town were from the top of Mayon Volcano and not from quarry stockpiles.

"Normally kailangan ng official communication. Ako ayaw ko na pagtalunan, mas malaki ang problema namin rito. Balak ko isuspinde muna para magimbestiga muna sila," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Normally we need official communication. I don't want to argue about it, we have bigger problems here. I plan to suspend quarrying operations so they can investigate.)

Authorities have cleared the province's national highways to make way for relief operations and its airport do not have any damage, Bichara said.

Bichara appealed to national government for funding as its budget has already been depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Quinta, which hit the province last week.

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