Philippine dike collapse damages 8 homes

Philippine dike collapse damages 8 homes
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

At least eight houses were damaged when heavy rains coupled with strong river currents led to the partial collapse of a dike in Marikina City on Sunday night.

The backs of the houses, which were situated on top of the dike, were destroyed when a 50- to 60-meter-long portion of the structure on Mirasol Street, Barangay (village) Nangka, gave way around 9:30 p.m.

Marikina City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Val Barcinal said that the strong current of the Nangka River, aggravated by heavy rains in recent days, was to blame for the softening of the soil on which the dike was built.

No one was hurt in the incident, which affected 45 families, or 359 individuals. Earlier in the day, barangay officials asked for help from the Marikina City government after residents reported the appearance of 2-inch-long cracks in their houses in the morning.

In the afternoon, however, the cracks doubled in size, prompting Barangay Nangka chair Randy Leal Barcinal and personnel from the city engineering division to advise affected residents to evacuate. Leal said that not long after, a portion of the dike gave way.

Mayor Del de Guzman, who went to the site Sunday night, said that the affected families would be temporarily housed at Nangka Elementary School.

While some refused to leave their homes for fear of looters, Marikina police chief Senior Supt. Vincent Calanoga assured residents that he had ordered the deployment of additional policemen as a precaution.

De Guzman told the Inquirer on Monday that apart from the families whose houses were destroyed, 52 others would have to be relocated to a local government housing facility once the Department of Public Works and Highways starts constructing a retaining wall in November.

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