Candaba swamp area still likely submerged this weekend

loodwater will likely persist in the Candaba swamp area this weekend in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses.

Water in the area continued to recede slowly and may be above the 4.5-meter alarm level even by Sunday, Pampanga River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (PRFFWC) senior

weather specialist Nestor Nimes said Thursday.

“There’s still (a) possibility for flooding then,” Nimes said.

Contributing to the slow water recession is soil saturation due to rain and runoff caused by “Ulysses” and other weather disturbances that earlier affected the area, he said.

The Candaba swamp area is located in the plains downstream of Mt. Arayat on the left bank of the Pampanga River channel. It encompasses, either partly or wholly, the towns of San Miguel, San Ildefonso, Pulilan, Baliuag, Calumpit, and Plaridel in Bulacan; Cabiao in Nueva Ecija; and Candaba, San Luis, San Simon, and Apalit in Pampanga.

The swamp acts as a natural flood retention basin during the rainy season. It holds the overflow from five smaller rivers – the Maasim, San Miguel, Garlang, Bulu, and Peñaranda – then drains into the larger Pampanga River.

Nimes said the Candaba swamp area’s water level at 6 a.m. on Thursday was at 5.2 meters, higher than the 5-meter critical water level.

The 6 a.m. water level was also just 0.01 meter lower than the 5.21 meters an hour earlier, he said, noting that water in the area has been receding by that much only since the night of November 18.

“That just shows how slow water there is receding,” Nimes said.

He expected the above-critical water level in the swamp area to linger until Friday, adding that afterwards, its water level might dip to between 4.5 meters and 5 meters.

The latest forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) indicated nil chance for the Candaba swamp area’s water level to significantly rise again soon.

Fair weather with isolated thunderstorms will prevail during the next five days in the area and the rest of Pampanga and Bulacan, PAGASA forecaster Raymond Ordinario said.

“We don’t expect heavy rainfall there this weekend,” he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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