Disaster in Waiting-A A +A
Friday, September 14, 2012
RAIN is a natural phenomenon that comes expectedly in a season every year. But flooding can definitely be avoided and prevented with correct and appropriate intervention.
With this philosophy, the flooding that occurred in Pampanga in the second week of August this year, and continuing, particularly the southern part of it including the city of San Fernando could not have happened.
The city’s southern portion is about 5 meters above sea level including its suburban towns. The northern portion of the city is from 10 to 40 meters above sea level. Comparatively, Angeles City and the town of Porac are about 50 meters above sea level.
How could therefore places that are 5 meters above sea level be flooded? The answer is very simple: The rainwater does not flow fast enough to the sea because it is being blocked by so many factors. And the major factor is that waterways to the sea are not wide and deep enough to accommodate the volume of rain water during heavy downpours.
The formula is very simple: The aggregate width and depth of all waterways (rivers, creeks and canals) should be proportional to the volume of water in a worst case scenario like heavy downpours due to habagat, siyam-siyam or forty-forty, you name it.
But how do our rivers particularly our major rivers presently look like? Or should I ask, "How have they been?" Take for instance, the rivers and creeks within the Megadike. There are two major rivers within the Megadike: The Pasig-Potrero River and the Gugu River, formerly a creek.
These rivers and some creeks within the Megadike all flow southward toward the towns of Bacolor, Sto. Tomas, Minalin and City of San Fernando. The Megadike is virtually closed at its southern portion by the construction of the so-called San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike.
The lone and only outlet of the mammoth Megadike is a rectum-like outlet, the Guagua-Pasac River which is very, very narrow. The Megadike looks like a stomach with a tiny outlet like a rectum.
So no matter how high the tail dike is constructed, it could either be overtopped or overfilled during heavy downpours. The integrity of the tail dike is another matter to be tackled considering the substandard filling materials used, hence the breakage.
Even the Megadike is another issue that has to be addressed to considering that the former DPWH officials who designed and constructed this have been convicted. If it was found out by the court that the Megadike is designed and constructed wrongly, why is it not being corrected up to now?
The San Fernando River is another issue. It lost its natural outlet at the boundary of the city and the town of Bacolor with the construction of the tail dike. This river used to connect to the Guagua-Pasac River. The government’s alternative, the diversion or reversing of the natural flow from east to west to west to east, is not yet fully addressed. This is the third river funded with millions of pesos by the Japanese through the PHUMP (Pinatubo Hazard "Urgent" Mitigation Projects). It is virtually not flowing well. The second outlet, which is the Mapalad Creek at Sitio Tinajero in Barangay Del Pilar is so narrow that it suffocates during heavy downpours.
I have been warning: The tail dike is a disaster in waiting.
Makananu tamung e mialbugan kanyan?
Ugnayan ng Mamamayan para sa Tunay na Resettlement at Rehabilitasyon
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 14, 2012.