‘Virtual dam’ report sparks panic in Pampanga towns-A A +A
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
ANGELES CITY -- A report claiming that a “virtual dam” along Sapang Uwak in Porac town that has accumulated a big volume of floodwater may trigger massive flooding in low-lying areas has caused panic among the town’s residents, as well as those in adjacent areas.
Councilor Mike Tapang said reports should be verified first from authorities.
A text message, which circulated among Porac residents, stated: “The people of Porac especially Poblacion, Cangatba, Jalung, Babo Sacan, Manibaug, Pio, Planas, and Hacienda Dolores should prepare.”
“Ganun din po yung iba pang mga 44 barangays [sa ibang bayan] na maapektuhan, maghanda na po tayo sa posibleng forced evacuation bunsod ng maaring pag-bugnos ng tubig na naipon sa Sapang Uwak. Maganda na pong maging handa. Please pass and don’t forget to pray,” the text message added.
Similar reports also came in local and national news programs.
Tapang earlier said there is a need to confirm the report. A team of policemen and soldiers were sent in the area to check the dam or dike in Sapang Uwak.
“Hindi natin pwedeng kaagad sabihin na hoax baka mamaya e totoo yung report at maraming mapahamak sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi rin natin pwedeng ilabas kaagad o biglaan na totoo kasi nga maaaring mag-cause naman ng panic sa mga tao,” Tapang said.
The councilor advised his constituents to stay calm and be alert. Residents may also seek regular advice or information from their barangay leaders regarding the real situation, he said.
Tropical Storm “Helen” continues to exit the country and this would increase monsoon rains, the weather bureau said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 16, 2012.