Capitol preps up for floods after El Niño

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Province of Pampanga is still reeling from the effects of El Niño but this is not stopping the Provincial Government of Pampanga from organizing an early flood awareness summit yesterday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here where barangay officials were urged to put preparedness plans in place amid changing weather patterns.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council head Angie Blanco said that the summit was called by Governor Lilia Pineda to keep locals prepared.

The state-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that the estimated end of the drought is by June or July.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (Enso) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the Climate Prediction Center of the US, the National Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society forecast the strong El Niño to start to weaken between March 20 to June 19, or what is called Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Blanco said that that typhoon season is just around the corner. She added that Pampanga is trying to address the need to update the province's dredging capabilities.

Governor Pineda has been vocal about the need to address Pampanga River's siltation problem and enable it to hold more floodwater.

Blanco said that there is a need to address flooding problems in risk areas like San Luis, San Simon, Arayat and Apalit.

Meanwhile, Governor Pineda has urged for preparedness among government officials adding that the first line of response in any flood situation or calamity should come from government officials in the barangay.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council presented their concerns on flood and disaster mitigation in a meeting with President Aquino at Capitol on Thursday.

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