State of calamity declared in Marikina; over 5K residents evacuated
A state of calamity was declared in Marikina City on Sunday after heavy rains from Tropical Depression “Josie” caused the Marikina River to swell, prompting thousands of residents in low-lying areas to seek shelter at evacuation centers.
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the city council approved the declaration based on the recommendation of the city’s disaster risk reduction and management office.
Preventive in nature
Teodoro told the Inquirer that declaring a state of calamity would facilitate rehabilitation and relief efforts.
“This is also preventive in nature,” he said, adding: “We are exercising an abundance of caution.”
Aside from the repair and rehabilitation of drainage systems and other infrastructure, the declaration would also allow the regulation of prices of basic commodities and prevent hoarding, Teodoro said, citing the dwindling supply of fish and chicken in the market.
Flooding has been reported in parts of Marikina City and other areas in Metro Manila since last week due to heavy rains caused by Tropical Storms “Henry” and “Inday” and the southwest monsoon.
As water levels in the Marikina River—already swollen due to the previous weather disturbances—further rose due to Josie, residents from low-lying areas left their houses for evacuation centers.
As of Sunday afternoon, 5,120 people were temporarily staying in seven schools and a gymnasium that were being used as shelters.
Rising water level
At 3:43 a.m. on Sunday, the second alarm was raised after the water level at Marikina River reached 16 meters.
It peaked at 17.4 m five hours later and slowly receded as the rains began to subside. At 5 p.m., the alarm level was downgraded as the water depth went down to 15.8 m.
In 2009, Marikina was devastated by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” which left huge parts of Metro Manila underwater and scores of people dead or hurt.
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