Arnedo dike breached, Apalit villagers asked to evacuate

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Friday, July 25, 2014


APALIT -- Residents of Barangay San Vicente, this town, are being asked to evacuate following a breach at the village's portion of the Arnedo dike, officials said on Thursday.

The local government unit of Apalit and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that around 431 families will be affected by the deterioration of the Arnedo dike.

Local officials here and the PDRRMO are now setting-up three evacuation centers in the municipal covered court, Villena subdivision, and Barangay San Juan, which can all together accommodate around 700 families.

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Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Pampanga has allotted 300 jumbo bags and 10,000 sand bags that will be used to cover up the breached portion of the dike.

According to some of the residents here, the gradual deterioration of the dike has been a result of the Department of Public Works and Highways' (DPWH) P30-million rehabilitation projects, which placed insufficient sheet piles near the dike.

The rehabilitation project, which is expected to be finished on November 2014, commenced two months ago.

Oscar Domingo, the contractor of the said DPWH project, defended that the sheet piles should not be blamed for the dike’s breakdown.

The project contractors, however, admitted that they failed to notice that the sheet piles were placed in a deformed path along Barangay San Vicente, which eventually resulted to the dike’s breakdown.

While there were no reported casualties, local officials are worried that the present rainy season may strengthen the strong current of water from the Pampanga River, which can further weaken the dike. (Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 26, 2014.

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