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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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HomeProvincial NewsFrom Sugba to Salum: City now readying for La Niña after scorching...

From Sugba to Salum: City now readying for La Niña after scorching El Niño

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Local officials here are readying for a different set of hazards expected to be brought by a wet weather event as the city reels from a punishing heat wave made worse by the lack of potable water amid the El Niño drought.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez had earlier said they have already drawn up a plan but did not give details while the Department of Public Works and Highways in coordination with the office of Cong. Greg Gasataya is now almost halfway through a major flood control project at the Reclamation Area that is hoped to ease flooding in and around one of the city’s catchbasins.

The diversion channel is being managed by the Regional Office 6 of the Department of Public Works and Highways with Assistant City Engineer Leah Jamero as the project engineer.

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Jamero said the channel links to the Mambulok Creek that runs across a residential area and often overflows its banks during heavy rains.

Physician Anna Maria Laarni Pornan told DNX preparations are now being made at two levels, the baraangay and city, as the El Niño wanes and government forecasts, most likely by June, the La Niña “wet weather” event.

La Niña, taken from the Spanish word Niña that refers to a girl, is a, weather event that brings a longer rainy season with stronger storms as opposed to the El Niño or “little boy” that brings droughts or longer dry spells.

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Among the creeks that will be cleared of garbage and other debris is the Mambuloc Creek that is hoped to be relieved of water pressure during heavy rains when the diversion channel is completed.

Jamero, however, confirmed they are still negotiating with the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation for the diversion channel to pass through parts of its property including the outfall that wil dump floodwaters to the seawaters of the Guimras Strait.

Currently, it is about 33 percent completed, Jamero said as he hoped that it will be done just brfore the La Niña starts.

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Pornan said barangay officials have their own responsibilities to look after in preparing for hazards and these include planning for food and temporary shelters in case of evacuations.

At the DRRMO level, however, Pornan said their preparations include dredging rivers and clearing creeks of garbage and debris that contribute to the rising of floodwaters.

The city was hit by flashfloods hit the city caused by heavy rains that dumped three days worth of rainwater over the highly-urbanized center of Negros Occidental province.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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