Friday, August 17, 2012

Metro Manila is sinking, says expert

Christina Mendez in the Philippine Star:  The entire Metro Manila has started to “sink” due to global warming and floods and to the rampant setting up of illegal fishponds in nearby provinces, an expert from the University of the Philippines’ Marine Institute said yesterday.

Fernando Siringan made the revelation when he faced the Senate committee on climate change. Siringan explained the cause of massive flooding in Metro Manila in recent weeks. “One major point is that the land in Malabon is sinking, and not only in Malabon. Actually, the entire Metro Manila is sinking. And you’ll have to consider that it’s sinking not slowly, it’s sinking at several centimeters per year,” Siringan said.

He also said there is no sense in dredging rivers if it continues to be filled with trash. He said the rising sea level as well as oil subsidence should be considered in the conduct of anti-flood projects, especially in the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (Camanava) area. “There are places in Malabon and Pampanga where soil subsidence is at 10 centimeters and half a meter every year, respectively,” Siringan said.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate committee on climate change, echoed Siringan’s statements. “This is not new because we have been saying this even before. Many areas are sinking every year so this should be incorporated in the planning of projects in the affected areas,” Legarda said. In the long term, there is a need to clear up waterways, rivers and lakes, Legarda said.

She said there is also a need to remove human settlements in major drainage systems. “We will collate all of these together so that we will be able to have a framework on how to address the massive flooding in the metropolis,” she said...

A view of Manila in 1992, during a chess olympiad, shot by GFHund, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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