Water breaches anti-lahar dike in Pampanga, folks fleeBy Tonette Orejas
Inquirer Central Luzon
MINALIN, Philippines — The San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike overflowed at the Minalin section at past 5 a.m. on Tuesday, unleashing floodwater to 100 hectares of fishponds and about 1,000 homes, the mayor here said.
At 7 a.m., menfolks rushed to sandbag half a kilometer of segment in Barangay (village) Sta. Rita to prevent this part from being breached and slow down the onslaught of water coming from the Gugu River inside the FVR Megadike, a catchment of volcanic sediments from Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruptions.
Mayor Edgar Flores said the widening of the Gugu River using earth could not stop the water from flowing toward Minalin and its neighboring town of Sto. Tomas.
The 19-kilometer tail dike breached in four portions at the height of the habagat on Aug. 7, 2012.
At harm’s way is also the Minalin Poultry and Livestock Cooperative (Mipolco), one of the largest and most-awarded cooperatives in the country.
Rescuers from the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council help residents flee to a chapel or to two-story homes of neighbors.
Governor Lilia Pineda said no casualties or fatalities were reported as advice for evacuation and preparedness have been upped since Sunday when tropical storm “Maring” began dumping heavy rains in the province.