MANILA - Tens of thousands remained in evacuation centers as the Marikina River began to ease early Monday, officials said.
The Marikina River reached a peak of 20.4 meters on Saturday night, just 2.6 meters below its 23-meter level recorded during Tropical Storm Ondoy's onslaught in September 2009, said Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.
Some 4,736 families or 21,103 individuals from riverside communities were still in evacuation centers, he told radio DZMM.
"Para kaming na-Ondoy dito e... Iyung mga lugar na dati nang hindi binabaha ay tumaas muli ang tubig," the mayor said.
(It's like we experienced Ondoy again. Areas which have been spared from flooding were submerged in floodwaters again.)
Ondoy submerged vast swaths of Metro Manila, leaving 464 people killed. In 2012, monsoon rains brought flooding to 80 percent of the capital and killed at least 66 people.
Dredging operations widened the Marikina River to 100 meters from its 70-meter width during Ondoy's onslaught, Teodoro said.
However, the river still swells rapidly due to garbage and the lack of trees that absorb rainwater, he said.
Marikina River's water level was at 16.3 meters as of 7 a.m. It remains under second alarm, which indicates preemptive evacuation, the local rescue office said.
Teodoro said he asked the public works department to build a pumping station to control floodwaters in Marikina.
He also urged citizens to drop off relief goods at any of Marikina's 18 evacuation centers.
Tropical storm Karding has left the country, but will continue to enhance monsoon rains over Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon on Monday, the state weather bureau said.
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