December 6, 2023

More than the unusual amount of rain dumped by Typhoon Maring, the irresponsible disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Covid-19, among other debris, is being blamed for the floods on Baguio’s thoroughfares at the height of the storm last week.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said PPEs, particularly face masks and shields, have clogged the street inlets that resulted in the floods in Harrison Road and Lake Drive.

Dela Peña said the improved drainage systems that were installed with wider tunnels are able to cope with the large volume of rainfall in Baguio, but the clogged inlets caused water to accumulate and inundate the roads.

Aside from face shields, aggregates left by contractors implementing road projects and pine needles, twigs, and trunks, especially at the Lake Drive, were found to have caused the clogging of the inlets.

Dela Peña said the surface water immediately drained to the tunnels when the debris on the street inlets was cleared.

He asked residents to dispose off their face masks and shields properly and contractors to contain sands and gravels during storms as these construction materials contribute to the obstruction of inlets.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has earlier deplored the irresponsible disposal of face masks and shields that resulted in floods on the roads.

He said the floods could have been avoided if the waterways were free of the debris that clogged them.

Various areas, including residential structures in Baguio, were flooded when Typhoon Maring, which dumped 625.3 millimeters of rainfall, ravaged Northern Luzon last week.

The state weather bureau Pagasa reported the amount of rainfall dumped by Typhoon Maring on Oct. 11 and 12 was the highest observed in 24 hours so far.

Typhoon Ompong, which hit Baguio and Benguet in September 2018, dumped 535 mm of rainfall. – Jane B. Cadalig