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Marikina to sue Angat Dam for floods higher than what Ondoy caused

Marikina Marcy Teodoro is upset that the management of Angat Dam failed to inform the city that it was releasing water due to the rains brought by Typhoon Ulysses during its onslaught on Metro Manila.

According to Maki Pulido’s report on “24 Oras,” Teodoro will sue the dam management for the alleged negligence.

“We have declared the whole city under state of calamity dahil lang sa kapabayaan na ‘yan,” Teodoro said.

Disaster management officials anticipated the water level at the Marikina River to reach only 18 meters as forecast by the weather bureau PAGASA.

When Angat Dam released water, it reached 22 meters, higher than the 21.5 meters recorded during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009.

Teodoro said the damage to public infrastructure in the city reached P10 billion, while the damage to businesses was at least P30 billion.

Meanwhile, the National Power Corporation said it is part of its protocol to advise affected local government units four hours before releasing water from dams.

NAPOCOR said the Marikina City government was not among those affected LGUs because it was not in the Angat River basin.

However, Teodoro said the Angat Dam’s water discharge still had an effect on the city as the dam was connected to the Marikina River.

A large part of Marikina was flooded Thursday after the Marikina River overflowed due to strong overnight rains brought by Ulysses.

Dams' water discharge not the cause

A hydrologist from PAGASA on Friday said the water discharge from dams was the culprit for Metro Manila's flooding.

According to Oscar Oida’s report on “24 Oras,” aside from the heavy rain, the floodwaters in Marikina and Pasig City came from the upstream of Mount Oro in Rizal.

“Kailangan po nating buksan nang sa gayon ay hindi po masira ‘yong dam na ‘yon dahil hindi po natin hahayaan na mas lumala ‘yong sitwasyon na magkaroon tayo ng dam break,” PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain said.

Orendain said the rainfall on Thursday reached 374 millimeters in a span of 11 hours. PAGASA said this amount of rainfall is equivalent to more than a month of rain.

“Wala pong dam dito po sa water shed ng Pasig-Marikina basin. ‘Yong mga malalakas na pag-ulan sa upstream, ‘yon po ‘yong nagpabaha dito sa Marikina,” Orendain said.

Clean up

As residents returned to their homes a day after the storm, they were greeted by piles of debris and household items covered in mud.

Residents of Barangay Dela Costa in Rodriguez, Rizal hope their local government can at least provide them help in cleaning the dirt as they figure out how to start anew after the tragedy.

“Pag-iisipan kung paano kami magsisimula ulit. Mahirap po ‘yung sinimulan namin na nag-ipon kami na biglang nawala. ‘Yun ang masakit sa amin,” Bambi Tumaliwan said.

Glen Dela Fuente, another resident, was not able to save any clothing or appliance from the flood. Though thankful he saved his family, he said he did not know how they could recover.

“Hindi po namin alam kung paano kami babangon… tulong lang po,” Dela Fuente said.—NB/LDF, GMA News