Rains not only to blame for flooding, says MMDA | Inquirer News

Rains not only to blame for flooding, says MMDA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) attributed the widespread flooding in Metro Manila on Thursday, which caused heavy traffic and left hundreds of people stranded, to the volume of rain spawned by tropical storm “Falcon,” clogged drainage systems and unfinished road repairs and diggings.

In an attempt to decongest traffic leading to traffic-heavy C-5 Road and the Southern Luzon Expressway, the MMDA coordinated with homeowners of Magallanes Village in Makati City who agreed to open their roads to motorists starting at 7 p.m. Friday, but only for a limited period of time, according to MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino.

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Tolentino said the amount of rainfall brought by Falcon was greater than what Metro Manila’s drainage system could accommodate.

He added that many of the open waterways in the metropolis were clogged with tons of garbage.

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“We have a 580-kilometer waterway in Metro Manila, but 55 percent of that cannot be reached by our equipment because of obstructions, like homes of informal settlers,” Tolentino said.

Lawyer Emerson Carlos, the MMDA’s assistant general manager for operations, added that along with floodwaters in major thoroughfares, faulty or grounded traffic lights around the metropolis also aggravated the traffic situation on Thursday.

The MMDA on Friday deployed additional 350 volunteers to manage traffic and assist in evacuation of residents in floor-prone areas in the metropolis, particularly in Marikina City and the Camanava (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela) area.

Around 700 families in Marikina City have left their homes near the Marikina River, fearing a repeat of the floods in 2009 brought about by tropical storm “Ondoy.”

The city government of Marikina raised the alert level to third alarm at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday when the water of the Marikina River rose to 17 meters, a meter below the river’s 18-meter critical level.

Meanwhile, in Makati City, around 29 families, including 60 children, were evacuated from Barangay Bangkal and are moved to Bangkal Elementary School assisted by city social workers and barangay officials.

Housewife Violy Manghinang and her neighbors stood by the bridge to check if it was time for her and her family to move out.

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“I am worried because I have five small children and we have no way to go but up to the roof,” she said.

In Manila, the steady downpour on Thursday night prompted 12 families from the Baseco Compound in Tondo to flee to higher ground as a safety precaution.

PO1 Joel Cabaldon, of MPD Juan Luna Tondo Station said the families returned to their homes before noon Friday when floodwaters subsided.

The charity arm of the Archdiocese of Manila on Friday mobilized its network organizations to visit flooded areas in the capital to bring relief goods to affected residents, according to a Caritas executive director Anton Pascual in a broadcast aired on the Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas yesterday.

Caritas has gathered relief goods since last month in preparation for the onset of the rainy and typhoon season through holding a second collection in the parish churches during Sunday Mass, said Pascual.

The state weather bureau said the heavy downpour was brought about by the southwest monsoon since there was no storm signal in effect in Metro Manila the other night.

But while heavy rains brought floods and battered most parts of the Metro, residents of San Juan City celebrated on Friday the feast of their patron saint St. John the Baptist with the traditional drenching of motorists and passersby.

Armed with pail dippers and hoses, people were seen standing on road corners waiting for passersby and motorists.

Al James Toh, a street vendor, joined the revelry. “The heavy rains won’t stop us. The fun has to go on,” he said.

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TAGS: Disasters, drainage systems, floods, Garbage, Metro, News
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