Zambales dike breached anew by rains; 2,000 families evacuated
In a phone interview, Mayor Roger Yap said that 7,706 people were brought to eight evacuation centers as the monsoon rains continued. He said there were no reported fatalities but eight barangays are currently under neck-deep flood waters.
The lone highway that connects Botolan to other towns is also impassable due to flooding.
According to Yap, the same dike that suffered a one-kilometer breach at the height of typhoon Kiko on August 7 gave way again, flooding almost all barangays of the town.
“The dike is not working. We need help," Yap said.
Authorities said the breach is larger this time as repairs were bogged down by long periods of rain, especially when storm "Labuyo" struck the northern Philippines last week.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was scheduled to upgrade the dike to concrete by October. As a temporary measure, it was making a channel to divert water away from the town when torrential rains struck.
Last week, Zambales Governor Amor Deloso said more than P150 million is needed to rebuild the dike.
“The national government could have spent P10 million a year for several years to upgrade the dike, but they did not," Deloso explained in a press conference at the provincial capitol.
The dike was originally built in the 1990s to divert lahar (landslides or mudflows of volcanic debris) from the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo.
“We are asking our kababayan to please lend us a hand again. We thank you for sending us support when typhoon Kiko struck us. Now, we need you help again," an emotional Yap told GMANews.TV.
At the height of typhoon Kiko, some 6,000 people were evacuated from 10 barangays of the town. - GMANews.TV