Siltation not cause of floods near port: CPA exec-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
THE Cebu Port Authority (CPA) yesterday said the flooding at a mall and its surroundings like Serging Osmeña Blvd. and F. Cabahug St. during heavy rains cannot be attributed to the siltation at the mouth of Mahiga Creek near Cebu International Port (CIP).
Lawyer Yusop J. Uckung, CPA deputy general manager and concurrent legal affairs department manager, said it’s not appropriate for anybody to say the CPA should immediately dredge the mouth of Mahiga Creek because its siltation caused flooding.
However, he clarified that dredging the mouth of Mahiga Creek is still necessary because the siltation has affected the waterline levels of CIP’s north portion where the bulk cargo handling equipment of the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. is located.
“There is a proposed budget of P70 million for the dredging of the mouth of Mahiga Creek which is now pending discussion by the CPA Board. But this is proposed not because of flooding but to improve the draft at the CIP,” Uckung said.
He said Mahiga Creek is adjacent to the CIP and connects to the Mactan-Cebu Channel. While it is heavily silted, it is still navigable by small watercraft during high tide.
He added that the silt that flows from the City of Cebu to Mahiga Creek’s mouth is the main reason for the “shallow draft” at the north side of CIP.
Uckung said the CPA Engineering Services Department inspected Mahiga Creek last Sept. 4 following a knee-deep flood near SM City Cebu.
It was observed that water current going to the sea was continuous and the water level was far from reaching the road.
The next day, the CPA engineering department further inspected the area and interviewed affected residents in the area flooded the most. They also traced the inland waterways of Mahiga Creek.
“They (engineering personnel) learned from the residents that during heavy rains, rainwater coming from Ayala Business Park and several areas in Mabolo converged with rainwater coming from Innodata in Mandaue City and overflowed toward SM City down to Serging Osmeña Blvd., leading to the Cebu Baseport.
“It is now very clear that the flooding is not caused by siltation at the mouth of Mahiga Creek,” Uckung said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2012.