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Natural Hazards

, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 1587–1607 | Cite as

Rapid appraisal of rainfall threshold and selected landslides in Baguio, Philippines

  • Dymphna Nolasco-JavierEmail author
  • Lalit Kumar
  • Arlene Mae P. Tengonciang
Original Paper

Abstract

Among the most landslide prone in the Philippines is the Baguio district, a center of trade, commerce, education and governance. It also has the highest recorded rainfall in the country. Rainfall-induced landslides (RILs) occur yearly and are triggered by rainfall due to southwest monsoon, tropical cyclones and their interactions; and orographic lifting by the Cordillera mountain range. Both natural and human factors contribute to the region’s susceptibility to RIL. Fatalities can reach hundreds, and economic damages may reach billions of dollars per event. The rainfall and reported RIL occurrence were compiled for the period 2000–2013. The characteristics and impact of major RIL such as those instigated by Typhoon Parma in October 2009 are highlighted. Most landslides were associated with tropical cyclones, enhanced monsoon flow and 24-h rainfall that ranged from 73 to 1086 mm, corresponding to average rainfall rates of 3–45 mm per hour. The number of daily-reported landslide incidents ranged from 1 to 41. Slides, debris flows and earth flows were observed as the predominant types. As the observed landslide-triggering rainfall is below or within the range of the observed yearly maximum 24-h rainfall, which is 164–1086 mm, RIL will likely continue to occur annually and pose a major challenge for Baguio. The minimum of 70-mm daily rainfall may serve as a threshold for early landslide advisory. Given the limited number of landslides and analysis of landslide occurrence in relation to other controlling/predisposing factors undertaken, the threshold identified can only be regarded as indicative.

Keywords

Typhoon Landslide Rainfall threshold Baguio Philippines Typhoon Parma 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Data gathering was made possible through research grants from the United Nations World Food Programme and the University of the Philippines Baguio Jubilee Research and Creative Work Grant. Rainfall data acquisition from PAGASA was facilitated by Darleen Gela and Victorino Aquitania of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, Southeast Asia, and Salvador Olinares of PAGASA Baguio. Landslide data acquisition was facilitated by Edilberto Carabbacan and staff of Department of Public Works and Highways, Cordillera Administrative Region, Jose Valera and staff at the Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera Administrative Region, Janice Singiten of Baguio City Disaster Coordinating Council, Ramon Apil of Baguio City Buildings and Architecture Office, and Charles Hamada and staff of the Baguio Midland Courier. X-ray diffraction analysis was conducted by Carmela Tupaz of the National Institute of Geological Sciences. XRD interpretation was enriched by Chelo Pascua of University of the Philippines Baguio. We also thank Andrei Domogo, Alicia Follosco, Ian Jasper Agulo and Rene Escalante of UP Baguio for assistance during fieldwork and Fay Apil of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region and Arthur Saldivar-Sali of Geotecnica Corporation for insights on landslides. The comments from two reviewers improved the quality of the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dymphna Nolasco-Javier
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lalit Kumar
    • 1
  • Arlene Mae P. Tengonciang
    • 3
  1. 1.University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.University of the PhilippinesBaguioPhilippines
  3. 3.Earthprobe IncorporatedManilaPhilippines

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