San Fernando tail dike gets ‘breather’-A A +A
Thursday, August 22, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The San Pedro Cutud portion of the San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike on Thursday got a "breather" from an overspill threat, as waters receded considerably overnight and rains became intermittent the whole morning.
Barangay chairman Masu Dela Cruz told Sun.Star Pampanga that as of 10 a.m. Thursday, the San Fernando portion of the tail dike had one and a half feet of free board.
"Sa magdamag po one foot ang ibinababa ng tubig. Kaya two and a half feet na po ngayon ang free board before iyung overflowing," he said.
The village chief of the hard hit barangay during last year’s Habagat, however emphasized that they continue to be vigilant as another weather disturbance has been reported. "Mag-ingat at maghanda pa rin po tayo samantalang nag-uuulan pa," he said.
Earlier, the City Government led by Mayor Edwin Santiago conducted sandbagging operations and “dumping” to reinforce the tail dike and protect the city from floods due to heavy rainfall spawned by tropical storm Maring and the southwest monsoon. The City Engineer’s Office also sandbagged banks of the Del Carmen Creek on Wednesday.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure that Fernandinos are safe," Santiago said during the on-site inspection of the tail dike which is being rehabilitated by 150 volunteers under the city’s food-for-work program.
Santiago added that the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the San Fernando Rescue Unit have been working round the clock in relief efforts.
"We have sufficient relief goods for our evacuees. We have 1,900 relief packs, each containing noodles, rice, groceries, and sanitary kits. Our target by Friday is 10,000 packs ready for distribution," he said.
A total of 1,385 families are currently in 15 evacuation centers in San Agustin Elementary School, San Isidro Elementary School, Quebiawan Elementary School, Sindalan Elementary School, Sindalan High School, Calulut Elementary School, Saguin Elementary School, Baliti Elementary School, Panipuan Elementary School, Panipuan High School, Telabastagan Elementary School, Del Rosario Elementary School, Maimpis Elementary School, Alasas Elementary School, De La Paz Norte Elementary School, plus Heroes Hall.
So far, according to City Health Officer Dr. Eloisa Aquino, 393 cases of various illnesses have been attended to in the evacuation centers. City Administrator Fernando Limbitco, meanwhile disclosed that barangay captains of flood affected areas would have to be consulted first before evacuees are allowed to return home.
With city in a state of calamity and floods hitting many barangays anew, officials here are mulling at long term solutions to address the problem.
"We will coordinate with other government agencies such as the DPWH and our private partners to solve our perennial problems during the rainy season. We will focus on immediate solutions and put everything under our control," Santiago said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 23, 2013.