MANILA, Philippines – (4th UPDATE) Residents of low-lying areas in Marikina City are evacuating from their homes as the water level of the Marikina River continues to rise after heavy rains hit the city’s watershed area before midnight.
As of 6:55 a.m., water level at the river was at 20.5 meters above sea level, according to the city's public information office.
In an interview with Umagang Kay Ganda around 5:20am, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos said the residents of Marikina were being cooperative.
“So far, okay naman ang attitude ng mga tao,” he said. “Ang sistema dito, para hindi maharass ang mga residente at hindi magalit, ang front liners ay ang mga barangay officialst at local officials. Nasa likod ang PNP at Armed Forces.”
But Marikina Vice Mayor Jose Fabian Cadiz continues to appeal to those who refuse to leave their homes.
“Kapag sinabi ng pamahalaan ng lungsod ng Marikina, wag kayong bumalik dahil baka tumaas ulit, kailangang sumunod talaga. Kapag sinabing lumikas, likas,” he said in a UKG interview.
Cadiz said the Marikina residents need to understand that the floods in the city right now will not subside any time soon.
“Dati-rati, kapag bumabaha sa amin dahil sa bagyo, kalahating araw lang wala na yung baha. Eh ngayon apat na araw na. Iyan po ang hindi maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan. Ang akala nila, pagka humupa na eh for good na yan,” Cadiz said.
“Pero iba na ngayon. Iba na talaga. Unang-una, wala namang bagyo, bumaha sa Marikina. Pangalawa, (dati) kalahating araw hanggang isang araw, hupa na ang baha. Ngayon apat na araw na,” he added.
“Iba na po talaga kaya kailangang matuto agad kami.”
Marikina City's public information office said as of 12 midnight, there were at least 6,774 families or 40,929 residents in evacuation centers.
Cadiz also warned residents of Marikina to not get in the way of rescuers.
He said the floods caused by habagat were worse than Ondoy since the heavy rains from Ondoy didn't last 3 days.