Wednesday, August 24, 2016

M 3.1 tremor near the Marcopper mine site, DENR should rush to the scene to check/repair the dams


This is to inform the 'new' DENR because it's possible they don't know, that the Marcopper mine site sits on an earthquake fault. The breakage of the tunnel plug that caused our environmental misery in 1996 until today was blamed by the mining company to a magnitude 3.5 earthquake that occurred a week before the March 24, 1996 disaster. However, we the people knew that suspicious seepage from the Pit was already being complained about by the people of Boac six months prior to that and the arrogant company could hardly care in response.

Earlier today, Wednesday, August 24, 2016, there was a magnitude 3.1 tremor that shook the town of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque at 13.41 degrees N, 122,07 degrees E. It's a very shallow earthquake with depth of only 1 km! 

With the help of Google Earth I traced the location that appears to be so close to the perilous dams of Marcopper (above image). These abandoned dams had been declared in danger of collapse by scientists as early as 2004.

The uncontrolled flow of AMD from these dams since then, and new photos showing how these contaminated liquids and seepage are flowing into our rivers have been posted here since August 6. So far, nothing concrete has been undertaken by the DENR under a new Secretary to check the dams at least as a starter.

It is a valid question to ask if past and present earthquakes and violent typhoons have ruptured any of the walls of these dams. There are many, Maguila-guila Siltation Dam, San Antonio Pit, Bol River Dam, Tapian Pit, Lower Makulapnit Dam, and Upper Makulapnit Dam. We just cannot possibly be that lucky.


Voluminous releases of water from the mine site have occurred in the past, especially during severe storms. There are many so easy to blame them on just 'climate change' without independently checking the actual state of these dams. But that's apparently something the armed personnel guarding the mine site really wouldn't allow anyone to do for whatever justifiable reason. 

Then there's the strong probability that all previous official inspectors couldn't just get rid of their bureaucratic boredom after a lazy peek of the mine site and just report happily that 'nothing significant has happened', 'all is well'.

Do we have to wait for Boac or Mogpog to be wiped out first before insisting that credible action must really be done now?



Or shall we just suffer more of this?


December 2015 landslide at Mataas na Bayan by the Boac River. Photo: Raffy Garcia

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