More than 20 barangays in Pampanga province were submerged in floods on Thursday due to rains brought by the southwest monsoon that was strengthened by Typhoon Fabian.
In the town of Macabebe, the roads look like the sea due to the accumulated rainwater in some barangays, such as Brgy. Sta. Maria.
In Masantol, water entered some establishments in Brgy. San Nicolas. The flood in Brgy. Dela Paz was also over one foot.
According to the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office, 24 barangays were affected by the floods in the province.
Pampanga is said to be ready for the floods because the PDRRMC emergency operations center was activated on July 16.
“May stockpiling na tayo ng canned goods, at saka bigas sa PEO. Naka-ready na ‘yung mga response vehicle natin, even yung mga bangka natin,” said Angelina Blanco of PDRMMO-Pampanga.
Although the evacuation centers have been converted to COVID-19 facilities, they are still ready in case of need.
Pampanga is on an orange rainfall warning due to the southwest monsoon. This means heavy rain is expected for one hour and the next 2 hours.
Over 20 barangays in Pampanga flooded due to heavy rains
Residents along the river and mountainous areas were advised to evacuate immediately due to possible flashfloods and landslides.
Towns in the 4th district of Pampanga, such as San Simon, Macabebe, and Masantol, and some towns in the 2nd district, such as Sasmuan, Lubao, and Guagua, are the most frequently flooded in the province.
They are considered a catchbasin because they are also said to cause ground subsidence apart from the geographical location.
In a study conducted by Fernando Siringan of UP Diliman and Kelvin Rodolfo of the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 2003, it appears that the ground subsidence rate in the West Pampanga basin is increasing every year.
A ground subsidence rate of 40.6 cm/year was recorded in the coastal areas of Masantol, Macabebe, and Sasmuan.
The alleged cause of ground subsidence has been the excessive extraction of groundwater since the 1960s.
Meanwhile, typhoon “FABIAN” is forecast to gradually intensify in the near term and reach its peak intensity (155-165 km/h) today.