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Marikina River: Down to alert level 1

MANILA, Philippines (10th UPDATE) - After staying at alert level 2 the whole day of August 21 due to continuous rain from tropical storm "Maring" and the southwest monsoon, the Marikina River's water level has subsided and is now at alert level 1.

The water level was reported to be 15.9 meters at 3:35 p.m. on Thursday by the Marikina Public Information Office through its Twitter account. It was the first time it went below the 16-meter mark since Tuesday, the height of the storm. 

On Tuesday, the river's water level reached 18 meters at 2:45 p.m. prompting the local government to raise alert level 4 which calls for forced evacuation.

The water had been rapidly rising since 8:13 a.m. the same day when it reached 15 meters, the cue for Marikina city government to raise alert level 1. It reached its peak height of 19 meters at 5:34 p.m. then began subsiding.

The city government is appealing for donations of relief goods for evacuees. Donations in cash or in kind will be received at the Marikina Sports Center. 

As of 4 p.m., August 22, a total of 2,296 families or 11,063 persons were in 13 evacuation centers in Marikina. The evacuation centers are:

 

Mayor Del De Guzman declared Marikina under a state of calamity on Wednesday. This means that the Marikina city government can receive calamity funds, control prices for basic goods, grant interest-free loans and provide additional allowance for public employees and disaster agencies operating in the area. 

He also declared no classes for all levels of private and public schools on August 22 and 23.

#walangpasok Mayor Del declares NO CLASSES in ALL LEVELS, both public & private tomorrow upto Friday at mtg of CDRRMO. — PIO Marikina (@MarikinaPIO) August 21, 2013

In an interview with DZMM, De Guzman called the water level of Marikina River "unstable" and advised evacuees to not yet return to their homes.

"Yung iba nagsisimula nang umuwi pero sinabihan namin sila na huwag, mag-stay talaga kasi baka mamaya makatulad noong nakaraang taon na noong nakauwi na sila ay biglang lumaki ang tubig," Weather Watch quotes him as saying during the interview.

(Others have started going home but we told then that they should really stay [in the evacuation centers] because what happened last year may repeat itself: the moment they get home, the water will rise.)

SWELLED BY RAIN. An overflowing Marikina River viewed from Marcos Highway near SM Marikina. Photo courtesy of Krista Garcia

SWELLED BY RAIN. An overflowing Marikina River viewed from Marcos Highway near SM Marikina.

Photo courtesy of Krista Garcia

On Tuesday, State weather bureau PAGASA earlier raised a red rainfall alert in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Rains caused by the southwest monsoon (habagat) has been intensified by Tropical Storm Maring.

PAGASA, in an advisory issued 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, said heavy to torrential rains are currently affecting Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Zambales, Cavite, Bataan, Pampanga and Occidental Mindoro.

Moderate to heavy rains is affecting Batangas, Laguna and Quezon. - With reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com