Friday, August 28, 2009

An Ambitious Solution to Manila's Flood Problem

August 22, 2009 - flood waters rose up again in Sampaloc, and after a long while of absence, even entered the UST campus, and all it's buildings, even the hospital, even the supposedly "raised" carpark. The multistorey carpark's groundlevel is raised 1 meter from street-level but this did not stop the infamous Sampaloc Flood. This really has to stop. My suggestions are many but all can be classified "wild" and "too ambitious" but will certainly work. I hope we put everything into this because this is flood is really counterproductive to our country. Imagine... Manila is our capital. It's so embarassing!

1. Redig all the covered waterways and even create a lot of new ones. Water has to go somewhere right? We should even build flood reservoirs. They can be underground, under buildings and are left empty until there's a lot of water and it will spill in those reservoirs and then thrown out when the rain has stopped. Malaysia has done this. They build a traffic tunnel which is turned into a flood reservoir whenever the need arises. Build another big canal similar to the Mangahan flood waterway cutting right through the middle of sampaloc, it doesn't have to be open, it can even run through the entire length of streets, the flood waters will be right under our feet...

2. Regrade the entire city. This has been done, although after a really destructive force rapt through a city. Seattle, which was built on a tidal plane was regraded one and in some places two storeys high after its great fire. Imagine if we raised the entire Manila landscape one storey high. No more flood.. LOL... this is really far fetched, too much history will be buried but it will be an enduring solution. And reconstruction doesn't have to be overnight. And we will not be wasting money trying to slowly raise street levels like what Manila is doing now feet by feet. In the long run, it is more expensive. And we'll also have a new tourist attraction... Manila's Underground City. --This is really not uncommon I discovered, Mereyside in UK was raised one storey high, Seattle as I've said one to two storeys high (Seattle Underground City), a large part of Atlanta has been raised one storey high (Atlanta Underground City), Rome is resting on a different Rome more times over, Mexico was raised from a dry lakebed... I can go on and on. I am leaning more towards this suggestion really. And considering the sealevel is rising, it may be our only option soon enough. It's a big sacrifice yes... but it is also a very big opportunity... we could bury all our electric cables making the city beautiful. New monuments... new public buildings, and most importantly flood, never again to be seen... can you just imagine?

Addendum :

This is interesting to share. How exactly did Seattle do it?

After its great fire, the decision was made to forever end the flooding problem of the city. They built concrete walls to line the street leaving the sidewalk at the original ground level at first... The insides of the concrete walls (the street) was filled in to produce the new raised street level. People continued using the old street level. Slowly merchants transferred to their second floors and used it as the new commercial space and used the lower floor for storage. Brick arches were put on the narrow sidewalks and were lined with thick glass to allow light below. There were two levels of sidewalks at that point. Once the people have completely moved out of the "now" underground these sidewalks were closed. Parts of the remaining underground city of Seattle is now available for tours... It's amazing how they did this, and how persistent and determined they were to stop flood from hurting their commerce... I hope we had this vigilance...


the high priestess said...

well gloria in her last sona mentioned this

quoted her: "We have worked on flood control infrastructure like those for Pinatubo, Agno, Laoag, and Abucay, which will pump the run off waters from Quezon City and Tondo flooding Sampaloc. This will help relieve hundreds of hectares in this old city of its age-old woe…"

i like the idea of raising manila's landscape more. hehe

Lord Zagato said...

the pumping will just be a patch. the sheer amount of water we have will overwhelm this method. considering the fact that a big chunk of manila is actually below sea level. drive behind the post office and you'll see the pasig is at ground level and for times during it's biannual reversal of flow is actually higher than ground level, frightening isn't it? if it breaches the dikes, it will overflow into manila... raising the ground is really ideal but at what cost? it will really be a big sacrifice... maybe a great fire of manila first hahaha so that there won't be anything to hold on to ^_^