Kusiong Landslides and the Teduray People: A Reason to Advocate for Probabilistic Risk Assessment

 

On January 12, 2024, Rappler unveiled a documentary shedding light on the plight of the Teduray people in Kusiong, who faced significant challenges during the landslides triggered by Typhoon Paeng in 2022. The documentary highlighted the Teduray community’s continuous displacement due to political struggles, forcing them to relocate from their coastal villages. One villager claimed they were given a mere three months to move, with no preparations nor safety assessments conducted by the authorities.

Subsequent analysis by the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center revealed that Typhoon Paeng resulted in 498 landslides due to heavy rainfall flowing into the watershed and affecting Kusiong and its surroundings. Unfortunately, the residents were unprepared for the debris flow, as local officials had only conducted earthquake and tsunami drills. The existing hazard maps did not consider landslides as a threat to the resettlement area, relying solely on historical precedent for hazard levels. This approach to hazard mapping, referred to as the deterministic method, has been criticized as inadequate by the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI) since it only considers community memory.

UPRI advocates for a more comprehensive approach, citing Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) method as a valuable tool. PRA models potential risks alongside historical anecdotes, creating maps that could offer accurate data on hazardous areas and potentially mitigate damages. The documentary underscores the importance of adopting a proactive and inclusive strategy to address natural disasters and protect vulnerable communities, similar to the methods employed by UPRI and the UP NOAH Center.

Read more on Probabilistic Risk Assessment by clicking on this link.

Access the full Rappler article by clicking on this link.

Watch the documentary below:

Thumbnail photo was a screenshot from the Rappler documentary.