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Broadly, there are three (3) soil types present in the area. The most dominant soil type found in Cotabato which make up 80% of the total land area or 14.079 hectares is the Faraon clay type. These are moderately good lands suitable for limited cultivation and less appropriate for urban development due to soil characteristics. Urban development would require very careful, and complex soil utilization practices. This type is found in the innermost portion of the area, the Tamontaka clay type found in the areas along Rio Grande de Mindanao on the north and south directions total to 2,640 hectares or 15% of the city’s total land area. This type of soil has high fertility level, good lands which can be cultivated and suited for urban development but requires carefully, planned erosion control measures. The third type of soil embracing an area of 880 hectares or barely 5% of the city’s total land area is where settlements and other urban uses are highly concentrated. These are very good lands which can be cultivated safely and require very simple soil management practices and with high density for urban development.
The city has been identified to be within the earthquake belt. This was clearly demonstrated during the 1976 earthquake that caused vast destruction of lives and properties.
The susceptibility of the soils in the area to be eroded were those that are Erosion Potentials located along the banks of the Matampay River, Tamontaka River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao. Barangays located along low-lying areas occasionally experience flash floods brought about by heavy rains. It is also noted, however, that more than half of the city’s land area is below sea level, thus seemingly an appropriate drainage system could prevent flooding and clogging of waterways. Potential flooding areas are those found in almost all four directions in the north, south, east and west. The meandering and occasional braided courses of rivers like Rio Grande de Mindanao, Tamontaka River, Tarbung, Kakar, Matampay, Miwaruy, Masukul, Manday, Lugay-lugay, Bagua and Kalanganan Rivers and Pagalamatan Creek could aggravate the flooding hazards of the area where these rivers are found especially during rainy season. Approximately, 85% of the soils in the area have good external and internal drainage while the other 15% have poor external and internal drainage.
Another calamity that is feared by the residents is man-made caused by armed conflicts.