Amidst heavy rains in Pasig City, cracks along Topaz Road, Ortigas Center were reported evening of August 22. Based on initial findings of Barangay San Antonio officials, the road cracks might have been caused by soil erosion. They immediately responded with closure of Topaz Road, guarded the area with Security Force personnel, and conducted initial preventive measures. The cracks were covered with tarpaulin and secured with sand bags to mitigate further damage.
There were circulating reports in social media that the cracks were caused by thunder and fault line movement. However, PAGASA and PHIVOLCS denied the claims with their official statements. Experts from the said government agencies mentioned that it is unlikely for thunder to hit the ground since there are several high-rise buildings in Ortigas Center. Neither is it fault line movement, else there should have been a recorded earthquake in the area.
On August 23, Mayor Vico Sotto joins Pasig City Engineering Department and Pasig City DRRMO to convene a meeting with Barangay San Antonio, Ortigas Land (the construction company along Topaz Road), utility providers, and building administrators of nearby condominiums. Investigation and assessment of Pasig City Engineering Department and PHIVOLCS also happened within the day.
Kap. Thomas Raymond Lising highlighted the importance of synergy among stakeholders to consider all aspects of the issue. The Punong Barangay assured constituents that mitigation efforts remain in place. He also reported Manila Water's diversion of its waterline - through an exposed pipe technically known as lifesaver - to ensure continuous water supply in the vicinity of the damaged area.
As regards the concern on evacuation, Kap. Lising deemed it is a "premature move" and reminded everyone to keep calm, but stay alert as Barangay San Antonio will heed the proposed next steps of the experts for everyone's safety.
Urged by Mayor Vico Sotto, the Pasig City Engineering Department submitted a comprehensive assessment on the same day. In a special coverage of GMA News 24 Oras, Pasig City Engineer Alfredo Garin relayed that the outburst of an old drainage line contributed to soil scouring, which eventually caused the cracks along Topaz Road.
Engr. Garin also emphasized that there is no imminent danger for condominiums in the area and advised the Office of the Building Official to release a safety pronouncement that will give constituents peace of mind. The Pasig City Mayor acknowledged the initial assessment and reinforced it with supplemental updates posted on his Facebook Page.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) also conducted Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey at the site on August 24. This aims to detect subsurface cavities, displacements, utilities, and determine its depths.
MGB/DENR Supervising Science Research Analyst, Ms. Liza Manzano shared initial findings after an hour-long GPR survey. Similar with Engr. Garin's claims, she also mentioned that the outburst in the old drainage line and the heavy rain fall might have caused the cracks along Topaz Road. Though slight dislodgements were noted, she advised safety and vigilance to constituents of Barangay San Antonio. The MGB also committed to provide recommendations to Pasig City Engineering Department in 3-5 days to give further guidance in rectification works.
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