Geothermal plant enundates Sorsogon barangay with flooding

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SORSOGON CITY — A village in Bacon district here may soon be erased from the map if the geo-hazard threatening it would not be acted upon, the village chief on Monday warned.

Osiao barangay chairman Tito Dio said typhoon Glenda spawned massive flooding in their locality, made worse by the infrastructure put up by the Lopez’s owned Energy Development corporation (EDC).

Dio blamed the disaster to the Bac-Man Geothermal production field with its five open canals on top of the mountain where water drains and empties unto the village.

Dio said that due to the enormous water coming from the geothermal field, the river path has been altered and now flows toward the farms turning entire rice paddies into a river.

“Our farmers are supposed to harvest by September but now everything is gone,” Dio lamented.

He said they fear that toxic chemicals from the plant might have been spilling down to the river. During heavy rains there have been instances when water smelled of chemicals, he added.

Dio also complained about skin diseases which are being attributed to the plant operation. He said those afflicted are being brought to a skin clinic in Legazpi city.

The village chief said at least 200 households are directly threatened by the inundation.

He said that since the EDC flattened the mountain and constructed the plant, flooding at the barrio has become more frequent. Water quality also deteriorated and has turned mocha in color.

The barangay officer said that flooding has become a normal occurrence in their locality since EDC started its expansion — and sometimes, some scrap materials from the plant like tires are washed down to the barrio. (with PNA report by Bobby Labalan)

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