Families flee as Marikina River reaches alert level
Residents clean their belongings after the water level in Marikina River rose and caused floods in nearby areas yesterday following continuous rains.
Boy Santos

Families flee as Marikina River reaches alert level

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Hundreds of families in Marikina City were evacuated yesterday as continuous rains raised Marikina River’s water to the second-highest level in a three-level flood warning system, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said.

Teodoro said the city experienced an average of 60 millimeters of rainfall from 9 p.m. on Wednesday until yesterday morning.

The river’s water level rose to 15 meters at 1:16 a.m. yesterday, prompting a first alarm declaration.

The water level progressed to 16.2 meters in less than four hours, according to the city’s monitoring system.

Residents living in low-lying areas near the Marikina River were brought to eight evacuation centers in the city, according to Teodoro.

“Good thing the rains stopped. We’re expecting that the water level will decrease and the residents may return to their homes,” Teodoro said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

As of 12:10 p.m. yesterday, alarm warning has been lifted after the river’s water level gradually decreased.

Teodoro said the local government has been in talks with the Departments of Public Works and Highways and Environment and Natural Resources for the dredging of the river.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will be assigning permanent personnel to conduct dredging in Marikina River, MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said.

“We will assign people permanently to Marikina because every time it rains, the river overflows. Well, that’s the topography of the city,” Abalos said.

Teodoro said the MMDA vowed to increase the water carrying capacity of the Marikina River to prevent floods.

The MMDA is planning to build a ferry terminal at the Marikina River to provide commuters in the city a faster alternative for transportation.

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