Although everything possible has been done to prepare for the coming rainy season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has revealed that it is not sure if these will be enough to protect citizens, minimize traffic, and prevent flooding.
“We believe that we are already prepared but since they consider this La Niña season, we don’t know if our advanced preparation will be sufficient,” Emerson Carlos, MMDA chair, admitted during a Sunday radio program.
According to Baltazar Melgar, head of the MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office, the tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009 had taught the MMDA to focus on preparing barangay officials for strong typhoons which may lead to severe flooding in low-lying locations.
“Almost every flood-prone area in Marikina City, like Nangka and Tumana, has its own fiber glass boats,” Melgar explained. Melgar added that rescue training for residents was also conducted to save trapped people in flooded areas.
However, the MMDA explained that the evacuation of residents will be prioritized before deploying the rescue teams and rescue boats.
The Effective Flood Control Operating System – a project that gives an early warning alert about possible flooding in Metro Manila – was also cited by the MMDA as an important project in protecting the citizens from flooding.
The MMDA is also relying on their pumping stations’ 25 percent capacity upgrades that were completed last year. The pumping stations help in clearing the drainage system in Metro Manila and unclog waterways to avoid severe flooding, especially in the 85 areas identified as flood-prone.
The identified flood-prone areas in Metro Manila include Alabang Zapote Road, Araneta Avenue, Blumentritt, C-5 Bagong Ilog, Dagat-Dagatan Avenue Extension, Dapitan, East Service Road, Edsa-Aurora Boulevard, Edsa Ayala Tunnel, Edsa-Taft, Edsa Pasong Tamo Tunnel, Edsa-Tuazon underpass, FB Harrison-Edsa, Magallanes Interchange, Ninoy Aquino Avenue, North Bay Boulevard, and V. Mapa.