The severe flooding in Cagayan Valley has drawn the attention of experts and officials to the vulnerability of the region during calamities.
Tuguegarao, the provincial capital of Cagayan, has been tagged by experts as one of the most vulnerable areas in the region during the rainy season for being flood-prone and a catch basin of water from tributaries.
Governor Manuel Mamba said floods caused by rain dumped by Typhoon Ulysses served as a “wake-up call” and should prompt authorities to reconsider solutions to the perennial disaster.
Mayor Cristina Antonio of Alcala town said, “Mountains, slopes and watersheds in the whole Cagayan Valley have been stripped of native trees that hold soil and regulate water release.”
She added: “Trees are cut down and forests threatened not only by illegal logging but by farming in slopes and mountains, particularly yellow corn farming and the use of herbicide that kills all vegetation and weakens the soil.”