Boracay Island submerged in flood due to heavy rain

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 17, 2019   •   1374

Boracay’s D’Mall shopping plaza | Courtesy: Claire Ang

Several areas in Boracay Island have been submerged in flood since Tuesday (July 16) due to heavy monsoon rain brought by tropical storm Falcon.

Barangay Balabag and several parts of Barangay Manoc-Manoc are experiencing knee-deep flood.

This is despite the modern technologies installed such as the High Density Polyethylene Plastic or HOPE plastic used as storm drains in the island.

According to Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MDRRM) Officer Catherine Ong Fulgencio, they still expected flooding in several areas. She said they already have water pumps on stand by.

“Since hindi pa po tapos ang rehabilitation, may mga areas po na talagang babahain po. We have planned na kapag meron ulan, merong pong mag-stand by na water pump, (Since the rehabilitation is still unfinished, there are areas that will experience flooding. We have planned that when it rains, there will be water pumps on stand by),” she said.

The water pumps are already being used to reduce flood water in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, the local government and the MDRMM continue to monitor the situation in the flooded areas.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Swim ban lifted at area of ‘poop’ incident in Boracay

Marje Pelayo   •   August 16, 2019

After tests declared the water safe from coliform, authorities removed the cordon from the area where a foreign tourist was seen burying a soiled diaper in the sand. | Courtesy” DENR

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted the swimming ban on Section 1 of Boracay Island after being closed for some time due to a defecation incident involving foreign tourists.

The Department declared on Thursday (August 15) that water quality at the incident site is already safe from coliform content.

Based on the result of the water quality test conducted on Wednesday (August 14), the coliform content in the area is now at 1 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (ml).

This is way below the normal level of at least 100 MPN / 100ml of water which is the standard to consider that the water is safe for swimming.

Thus, Secretary Cimatu ordered to remove the cordon and signage of the swimming ban that were installed 100 meters along the beach front of Section 1.

Meanwhile, Malacañang condemns the actions of the Chinese tourists and according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, they should be held liable for violating environmental laws in the island.

“It’s a violation. We are not happy about that,” Panelo said.

“We’re supposed to be cleaning it up. Pagkatapos (Then) some people are messing It up. Hindi maganda. (That’s unfavorable) Whether filipino yun, o tourist, it’s offensive to the sight. It’s not a good scene,” he added.

Panelo calls on foreign tourists to abide by the law whenever they are in the country.

Meanwhile, the Boracay management was quick to provide portable restrooms for tourists following the incident.

Boracay authorities are planning to review local ordinances to make sure they still fit to the current situation in the tourist island.  – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Portion of Boracay island closed after pooping incident

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

(L-R) A woman buries a soiled diaper in the sand while another woman washes the child’s behind on the beach.

MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Wednesday (August 14) ordered the temporary closure of Section 1 in Boracay Island following an incident where a foreign tourist allowed her child to poop in its shoreline.

A video of the tourist went viral on social media which also showed another woman burying a used diaper into the sand, according to the narration in the recording.

Cimatu, who heads the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), ordered a 2 to 3-day closure of a portion of the beach where the defecation incident happened to allow clean-up operation.

The closed portion was cordoned off and placed with markers that say: “Temporarily closed for swimming. (Clean up ongoing.)”

Within the 48 to 72-hour rehabilitation period, water samples from the affected area will be observed and checked until the tests reveal that water quality is restored to safe level.

According to BIATF General Manager Naty Bernardino, the closure order covers the 100 meter beachfront of Station 1 where the incident happened.

“Mayroong nakabantay doon na (The area is guarded by a) PNP personnel to really enforce the no swimming policy temporary,” Bernardino said.

Meanwhile, the official said they are planning to review all existing municipal ordinances to determine if they remain relevant to the current situation in the tourist island.

“There’s a need to, you know, palakasin pa iyong penalties niya (strengthen the penalities). (Strengthen the) penalty system para talaga ma-prevent, ma-deter ang mga (to prevent, to deter the) violators from doing various violations,” Bernardino said.

Based on the current municipal ordinance of Malay, Aklan, illegal waste disposal in public places in Boracay such as the beach area is punishable with P2,500 fine which, according to Bernardino, is definitely a small amount. – MNP (with details from Vincent Arboleda)

Crocodile takes refuge on rooftop in flood-hit Indian state

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2019

Heavy rain and landslides have killed 147 people in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra and forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps on Monday (August 12).

The flooding has forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge in relief camps, while train services were canceled in several flood-hit areas.

Humans were not the only ones seeking higher ground as a crocodile could be seen atop a submerged house after it entered a residential area on Sunday (August 11) in the southern flood-hit Belgaum city.

Floodwater receded in some parts of western Kolhapur and southern Belgaum areas, bringing some relief to the residents.

Belgaum resident Shabana Sandhi said she had been living outside her home for eight days and her food and household materials were severely damaged by the floodwater.

While Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have been the worst hit this year, several other states including Gujarat, Assam and Bihar have also seen heavy damage due to floods. (REUTERS)

(Production Credit – Polly Rider)

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