Manila gov’t to study drain system of flood-prone underpass

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Lagusnilad. PHOTO BY RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines–The Manila disaster management office will examine the plan and drainage system of Lagusnilad and make proposals to the City Council on how to avoid the flooding that has plagued the underpass in the past 30 years.

Lagusnilad was yet again rendered impassable this week after days of torrential rain, spawned by a storm-enhanced southwest monsoon (habagat), caused widespread flooding in parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

“After this habagat, we will hold a meeting and propose a retrofitting of Lagusnilad to the City Council,” said Johnny Yu, officer in charge of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Yu said they will study the plan of the underpass, its drainage and pump systems to know if these should be replaced.

Based on available information, Yu said Lagusnilad has been prone to flooding in the past three decades.

Submersible pumps have been previously installed to remove floodwaters but as the last two monsoon seasons have shown, the pumps may no longer be adequate.

Apart from the high level of rainfall, Yu said the flooding is due to the flow of water from Intramuros, particularly the golf course.

“After examining what kind of submersible pumps were installed before, we may suggest a bigger pump,” Yu said.

He said bigger drainage pipes might also be needed.

Once the City Council approves the retrofitting proposal, it will be forwarded to the Department of Public Works and Highways for implementation. A technical working group will be created by the DPWH.

The Quiapo underpass is also prone to flooding but it was spared this time because, according to Yu, its area is twice that of Lagusnilad and it has larger flood pumps.

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