Aug 212013
The town of Sta. Ana in Pampanga can be called a flood veteran. But this year, residents were not gearing up to evacuate their homes even after their province was placed under the state of calamity due to monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring.

The secret? A newly build retaining wall along Matubig creek in the town.

“Dati ang baha rito hanggang dibdib pero dahil napaayos na ang creek at hindi nag-overflow ito, kaya hindi binaha ang mga taga-Sta. Ana,” Pampanga provincial information officer Joel Mapiles told GMA News Online in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The creek’s retaining wall is approximately 200 meters in length and about 1.2 m above the road. Apart from building concrete walls, Mapiles said that the creek has been dredged.

“Silted na ‘yung mga water channels sa Pampanga kaya kailangang magkaroon ng dredging and slope protection ang mga water embankment,” he added.

On Wednesday afternoon, Pampanga was placed under the state of calamity after a dike in Minalin town was breached on Tuesday, which caused flooding in low-lying areas.

Metro Manila experience

In Metro Manila there is another example of a once-flooded and now flood-free area due to engineering.

In a text message, Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino told GMA News Online that the P. Tuazon and Aurora tunnels in Cubao have been flood-free during the last few days.

This is due to an additional submersible pump provided by the agency and installed in P. Tuazon tunnel, according to MMDA general manager undersecretary Corazon Jimenez.

“Mabilis ngayong humupa ang baha because nadagdagan ‘yung pumps and if there’s a big rain fall, pupunta kami agad to suck the water out,” Jimenez told GMA News Online in a phone interview.

On Monday, MMDA tested a new pumping station in Balong-Bato in San Juan River. At first, it helped ease flooding on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City. However, the areas have since been inundated as the rains continued.

“It was good and effective because there was no back flow pero noong tumaas na hindi na rin kinaya ‘yung back flow,” Jimenez said, noting that floodwater level in the area reached seven feet.

Still, the MMDA general manager was positive that the two other pumping stations in Salapan and Brgy. Rivera along San Juan River, which will be fully operational by the end of this year, will help ease flooding in some parts of the metro.

As of Wednesday morning, more than one million Pinoys have been affected by continuous rains brought by the enhanced Habagat, which has battered parts of Luzon since Sunday night. — BM, GMA News

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