Napocor: Don’t blame damsPhilippine Daily Inquirer
People in Pangasinan have been blaming the floods in some towns in the province on the release of water from San Roque Dam as Typhoon “Gener” passed through in late July and the southwest monsoon dumped rains for three days earlier this week.
But state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor) on Friday said the release of water from the dam did not cause the flooding.
“On the contrary, the dam mitigated the flood in Pangasinan,” said Romualdo Ma. T. Beltran, manager for dams, reservoirs and flood forecasting of Napocor. “The floods would have been significantly worse were it not for the flood control functions of San Roque Dam.”
Beltran said Napocor records would show that at the height of Typhoon “Gener” and the monsoon rains, the dam’s reservoir temporarily stored close to 500 million cubic meters of water, preventing the floods in areas below the dam from getting worse.
Beltran said Napocor strictly complied with the procedures for releasing water when it started to spill water from the dam on Aug. 2.
The spill began only after the water elevation in the dam had reached 278 meters above sea level (masl), Beltran said. The rules require that water be released before the elevation reaches the normal high level of 280 masl, Beltran said.
Beltran assured the public that it was Napocor’s policy to ensure that water releases from the dam posed no danger to life and property.
Pagasa reported on Friday that four dams in Luzon continued to release water to ease critical levels. In two of the dams, the water elevation reached normal high level, Pagasa said.
As of 2 p.m., Ambuklao Dam in Benguet had two gates open, although the water level, at 751.86 meters, was slightly lower than the normal 752 meters, Pagasa hydrologist Jun Paat said.
Binga Dam in Ifugao province kept two gates open even though the water level, at 574.37 m, was lower than the normal high level of 575 m, Paat said.
Easing critical levels
He said Ipo Dam in Bulacan opened and shut its gate during the past three days to ease critical levels. On Friday, Paat said, the gate was closed at 4 a.m. and it was opened at 11 a.m. with the water level at 101.8 m, above the normal high level of 100.80 m.
Paat said the water level at La Mesa Dam in Quezon City continued to go down, and was recorded on Friday at 79.91 m, below the spilling level of 80.15 meters.
Paat said water levels at Angat Dam in Bulacan and Magat Dam in Isabela had breached normal high levels, but the dams were keeping their gates shut to avoid worsening the floods in surrounding municipalities. Reports from Amy R. Remo and Jeannette I. Andrade