APALIT -- Amid the threat of the coronavirus, a coastal barangay in this town faces another danger as a portion of the Pampanga riverbank protection eroded recently.
According to Barangay Cansinala Chairwoman Carolina Mercado, about 100 meters of the riverbank eroded during the heavy downpour the past days.
"After overnight of heavy rains, we were surprised to see the following morning that the riverbank has crumbled down and cracks were seen on our road," she said.
She added that the damaged riverbank is a few meters away from a residential area and the barangay hall.
Mercado also disclosed that the road in peril of total erosion serves as a primary accessway going to major thoroughfares such as MacArthur Highway and North Luzon Expressway via San Simon.
Without the said road, residents must go around Barangay Capalangan or cross the river via a boat to reach the town plaza and public market.
To immediately solve the problem, Mercado said she immediately sought the assistance of Fourth District Representative Juan Pablo "Rimpy" Bondoc for any assistance the latter can extend.
About three days after the incident, Bondoc's representative, former Board Member Nestor "Bay" Tolentino, Board Member Pol Balingit and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 1st District Engineering Office Head Almer Miranda came to the area to inspect the damaged infrastructure.
Tolentino said Bondoc committed to source funds for the immediate rehabilitation of the riverbank, as well as the installation of additional protection.
He said steel sheet piles will be driven down the ground of the riverbank to provide earth retention and excavation support.
"This is the same material that we are using to prevent the riverbank along the fourth district from eroding and protect the communities within its vicinity," he said.
But while waiting for the funds, Miranda said a palliative measure in the form of sandbagging will be conducted to temporarily protect the community.
He said the DPWH will provide the sand while barangay and its people are in charge of making and installing the sandbags.
"This will be the temporary solution while Congressman Rimpy is sourcing out the funds. Once we have the funds, we will immediately implement the permanent solution which is the installation of steel sheet piles," he said.