Hundreds of families flee as Marikina River reaches 2nd alert level

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2021 08:47 AM

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MANILA - Hundreds of families residing in low-lying areas near Marikina River have fled as the water rose to the second-highest level in a 3-step alarm system, its mayor said Thursday.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the river's water level is at 16.1 meters, which has gone down a notch since alert level 2 was raised at 4:30 a.m.

"Sa ngayon ang magandang nangyari ay tumigil ang pagulan kaya inaasahan natin na bababa ang water level at makakabalik na ang mga kababayan ngunit napakalaking abala at 'yung pagaalala at takot ng ating mga kababayan ay di natin matatawaran," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Fortunately the rain has stopped and we expect the water level to decline and our residents to go back to their homes.)

"Kung di matutuloy ang pag-ulan at ganito na ang magiging panahon, maaaring bumaba ito sa loob ng 3 o 4 na oras."

(If the rain does not continue, the water level may decline in 3 or 4 hours.)

The city had experienced rains from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 12 a.m. Thursday, Teodoro said.

"Dati pag nakaranas kaming ulan na ganito, wala naman pagtaas ng Marikina River kaming nararanasan. Marahil dahil nga nung nakaraang Ulysses ay naging heavily-silted ang Marikina River at may bahaging nareclaim kaya bumabaw at kumitid," he said.

(Before, when we experience rain like this the water level of Marikina River doesn't rise. Maybe it's because of the flooding during Typhoon Ulysses which caused Marikina River to be heavily-silted and that some parts of it were reclaimed.)

"Tatlong talampakan ang taas ng tubig na pumasok sa komunidad, mga kabahayan na nagevacuate kaya sila ay nag-alala, lalo na nangyari ito kaninang madaling araw."

(Three feet of water rushed into homes of those who evacuated so they were worried, especially because it happened early this morning.)

Residents are told to observe physical distancing and are scattered in 8 evacuation centers across the city, Teodoro said.

The city had become an "area of concern" due to an increase in COVID-19 cases following the holidays, he said.

"'Yung aming infection nangyayari sa loob ng pamilya. Ang virus walang boundary, hindi ibig sabihin pag pumasok ka ng bahay nawawala ang virus," he said.

(Infection happens within the family. The virus knows no bounds, it doesn't mean that when you enter your home, it disappears.)

The local government has ordered some 240,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine worth P82.7 million from 2 drugmakers, according to the mayor.