Backlash: Marikina mayor says failure to protect nature causes floods

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2018 10:44 AM | Updated as of Aug 13 2018 10:51 AM

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro helps in distributing relief goods in an evacuation center on Monday. Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Ecological imbalance due to failure to protect the environment is causing the recurrence of floods in Marikina and other parts of the country, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Monday.

"Backlash ito ng hindi pag-iingat sa kalikasan. Anumang paghahanda at pag-develop ng komunidad para maging disaster-resilient, mababalewala kung 'di aalagaan ang kalikasan," Teodoro told ABS-CBN News.

(This is a backlash of the failure to take care of the environment. Whatever preparation the community does to be disaster resilient, it all goes to waste if we do not protect the environment.)

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) submerged large portions of the capital in September 2009, leaving 464 people killed. In 2012, monsoon rains brought flooding to 80 percent of the capital and killed at least 66 people.

Aside from environmental protection, the Marikina mayor is also appealing to Department of Public Works and Highways to build pumping stations in the city that will complement efforts in dredging the river and building dikes.

Residents of Malanday in Markina City wade thru flood after overnight rains brought by Tropical Storm Karding inundated their village on August 12, 2018. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Among the cities in Metro Manila, Marikina usually suffers the worst damage during typhoons and weather disturbances because of its proximity to the river.

Over the weekend, more than 21,000 residents had to evacuate in 18 different centers because of floods brought by torrential rains.

Teodoro said this figure is higher compared to the average as they only record around 3,000 to 5,000 evacuees on a normal typhoon.

Malanday Elementary School serves as temporary shelter to about 5,500 individuals who were evacuated from their homes as precautionary measure.

Water in the Marikina River reached as high as 20 meters on Saturday night, only a few meters short of the deadly Ondoy in 2009.

As of 7:30am Monday, the water level is at 16.2 meters, down from 17.7 meters last night.

The Marikina government has distributed relief goods in various evacuation centers early in the morning.

"Sa ngayon minobilize natin lahat ng ating resources ng LGU at nanawagan na rin tayo ng tulong sa national agencies at private," Teodoro said.

(For now, we have mobilized all of the local government's resources and we call for help from national agencies and the private sector.)

Those who wish to extend help may go directly to evacuation centers to facilitate a faster distribution of relief, he said.