DISASTER mitigation experts have warned that a heavy downpour will cause the Abra River to overflow and open the gate for a massive flooding that may result in huge damage to lives and property in low-lying areas of Ilocos Sur.
A study conducted by the Ilocos Sur-Abra River Basin Management Council (ISARBMC) showed that denuded forest covers would not be able to hold and store excess floodwater caused by continuous heavy rains.
ISARBMC is composed of the provincial board, various local government units and government agencies, the aca- deme and non-government organizations.
It said that among the most threatened are the municipalities of Caoayan, Bantay, Santa and Vigan City, all in Ilocos Sur. Abra River has an estimated drainage area of 5,125 square kilometers and a length of 178 kilometers.
Acting provincial local government officer Federico Bitonio Jr. presented results of their study during joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recently.
He said aside from flooding, Abra River also has the ability to cause landslides or rock-slides in the upland towns of San Emilio, Del Pilar, Quirino and historic Cervantes.