MAASIN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) field office here closed a major road section in Southern Leyte since Tuesday (April 17) to speed up clearing operations of the road section affected by a major landslide.
“We will impose full closure in the national road stretch in Pancho Villa in Sogod to all types of vehicles during working hours to ensure faster removal of huge quantity of landslide debris,” DPWH-Southern Leyte chief Ma. Margarita Junia said.
Recently, a major landslide occurred in the area following series of progressive minor landslides, damaging several households and the road section.
Junia noted that despite the department’s road closure announcement on March 14, some motorcycles and light vehicles still pass through the dangerous part of the national highway.
The 200-meter road section, which is just six kilometers away from Agas-Agas Bridge, the country’s tallest, is a vital part of the long highway that links islands of Visayas and Mindanao.
“There is a progressive landslide in the area that might put the travelers’ life in danger so we call upon their attention to please use the alternative routes for now to ensure that their safety will not be compromised,” Junia said.
Alternative routes for motorists bound for Benit Port in Southern Leyte are advised to take Tacloban – Mahaplag – Baybay – Bato – Bontoc – Sogod – Daang Maharlika – Liloan – San Ricardo road route and Abuyog-Silago road.
DPWH Regional Director Edgar Tabacon conducted and aerial survey last week in the landslide-hit area to check the status of the slope along the stretch highway.
“Director Tabacon already lent us heavy equipment such as bulldozers, dump truck, and backhoe which we are now using in our removal of landslide materials there. And we also wrote a letter to Undersecretary Renato Solidum to request their assistance in identifying further data about the status of the area,” Junia ended.
Heavy downpour triggered soil erosions and landslides since March 14. The 200-meter stretch of the road will remain impassable to all types of vehicles until further notice. (PR)