Major E. Samar Highway Now Open To All Vehicles

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A main highway in Eastern Samar is now open to all types of vehicles after a week-long closure due to a rain-induced landslide, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Monday.

DPWH Eastern Samar information officer Jayson Espeso said the road portion along the national road in Binaloan village in Taft town was officially opened Monday morning but would be automatically closed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. for safety reasons.

“Due to public clamor, our office decided to open the road section but for a limited time only. We have assigned personnel to monitor the area and advised the public to pass through with caution due to possible occurrence of landslide and rockfall,” he told reporters in an interview.

During road closures, motorists are advised to use the alternate route Buenavista-Lawaan-Marabut Road to get to Borongan City and the northern part of Eastern Samar.

“At about 5 a.m. on Jan. 12, continuous rainfall triggered the landslide in the said road portion. However, the clearing work began two days later due to bad weather that made the slope unstable and dangerous for any clearing activity,” Espeso said.

The DPWH completed the clearing of the landslide mass estimated at 5,000 cubic meters on Jan. 15 but remained close due to the imminent threat of debris fall in the area.

No one was hurt during the landslide as the road section was closed to traffic two days earlier due to a possible landslide and rockfall.

Espeso said they already instructed the contractor of the ongoing slope protection project in the area to immediately install additional safety signage and barricades.

Last week, widespread flooding and minor landslides were reported in several parts of the region due to non-stop rains, particularly in the Samar area.

The weather bureau said the region experienced heavy rains due to the tail-end of a frontal system and a low-pressure area. (PNA)

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