SAN LUIS - Due to heavy downpours brought about by the weather disturbance, the water level in the upper portion of the Pampanga River has reportedly increased by almost two meters from its normal level.

The low-lying riverside villages in various municipalities in the fourth district of the province face flooding if the flow of water will not change it course.

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Some residents particularly those living near the Arnedo dike lamented that with the advent of the rainy season, thousands of families are threatened to be displaced as several portions of the said dike are due to collapse anytime.

“Paulit ulit lang naman ang problema, kapag tag ulan tumataas ang tubig sa ilog at dahil sa lakas ng agos ng tubig may mga bahagi ng dike ang bumibigay. Ang problema nga lang ang solusyon na ginawa ng mga nasa kapangyarihan ay hindi naman pangmatagalan, at inaayos lamang nila ang sirang bahagi nito kapag nandyan na ang malakas na ulan,” Eddie Santos, a resident here said.

Santos disclosed that in Sta. Catalina village, several houses are in danger as the dike adjacent to Pampanga River continuously deteriorates due to strong currents of water.

“Hindi lang malinaw kung ano talaga ang balak ng local ng pamahalaan ukol dito. Unti unti ng nauubos ang dike subalit wala paring konkretong plano kung paano reresolbahin ang problema. Siguro panahon naman para magtrabaho na ang aming bagong mayor,” Santos added.

Aside from this town, the Arnedo Dike along the portions of Mandasig village in Candaba, San Pedro village in San Simon and in some areas of Apalit are reportedly no longer safe to residents.

It can be recalled that local officials here admitted that Arnedo Dike is old enough for its purpose. They said it is no longer viable as a flood control structure.

They claimed the dike could only be used as a road dike despite the pouring in of more than P100 million in funds for the rehabilitation of some of the dike's portions.

“Milyon milyon piso na ang perang lumabas sa kaban ng bayan para ayusin ang nasabing dike, pero hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay hindi naman pinakikinabangan ng taong bayan. Mabuti pa ang mga ilang opisyal at kontraktor yumaman dahil sa pagkasira ng dike habang kami ang nagdurusa,” one of the residents here said.

The main Pampanga River, meanwhile, still remains below alert level.