Rising water level in Marikina River prompts over 1,000 families to evacuate

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Employees of Marikina City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office are busy taking calls for updates and monitoring Marikina River’s water level.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The rising water level in the Marikina River has urged at least 1,000 families to leave their homes, and proceed to evacuation centers.

As of 12 noon, 1,180 families proceeded to designated evacuation centers, the biggest of which is the Malanday Elementary School.

The continuous rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon or Habagat, as enhanced by Tropical Depression Josie, caused the water level to reach 17.4 meters at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

An hour later, the water level decreased to the 16.9 meter mark, remaining at second alarm.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the families came from Bayabas Balimbing in Barangay Nangka, Talisay and Narra Street in Malanday, and Kislap/Ilaw Doña Petra in Barangay Tumana.

He said they are expecting to evacuate around 3,000 families once the water level reaches third alarm at 18 meters.

"Based on our previous experience, maaaring umabot ng mga 3,000 ang lilikas kapag umabot ng 18 meters water level," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation:Based on our previous experience,  the number of families to be evacuated may reach 3,000 once the river reaches a water level of 18 meters.]

Teodoro advised residents to exercise caution and to follow government instructions, as they continue to monitor the Marikina River, and other affected areas.

"Maging maingat tayo makinig at sumunod sa mga tagubilin ng atong pamahalaan. Ang binbantayan natin ang Marikina River and pag ulan sa mga kabundukan sa paligid ng Marikina," he said.

[Translation: Let us be cautious and follow the instuctions of our local government. We are monitoring the Marikina River and rains over the mountainous areas in Marikina.]

Weather officials said Josie will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon bringing rains over Metro Manila, as it exits Philippine territory Monday afternoon.