‘Igme’ brings light rains, but flood alert up in PangasinanInquirer Northern Luzon
MANILA, Philippines–The weather bureau has placed Cagayan and Isabela under public storm Signal No. 1 on Monday but Isabela officials said Tropical Storm “Igme” had brought only spurts of rainfall in the province, with the sun peeking in the morning.
Officials of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, however, said they will stay on alert even as Igme was forecast to move away from the province toward the sea in northern Cagayan.
“Igme is moving northward, away from Isabela, but its presence may still give us monsoon rains,” said provincial administrator Noel Manuel Lopez.
He said relief goods had been prepared in the coastal towns of Isabela facing the Pacific Ocean and in the remote towns of San Agustin, Jones, San Guillermo and Echague.
Ambulances and medical and search-and-rescue equipment have been readied for deployment, he said.
Lopez said PDRRMC has also formed teams to monitor water levels in the province’s dams and waterways.
Ramil Tuppil, weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (Pagasa) in Isabela, said Igme will not make landfall and the Sierra Madre mountains have protected mainland Isabela from strong winds accompanying the storm.
Lopez said PDRRMC and provincial officials have been monitoring online weather bulletins issued not only by Pagasa but by other agencies based in the United States, Japan and China to get accurate information on the storm’s track.
In Pangasinan, the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town opened its spillway gates on Sunday night as Igme approached Cagayan.
In an advisory, Tom Valdez, San Roque Power Corp. vice president for corporate social responsibility, said the flood forecasting and warning system for dam operations of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) had advised them to open the dam’s Gate 2a at 10 p.m. on Sunday and release water at the rate of 75 cubic meters per second (cms).
The dam’s spillway gates were closed on Aug. 17, after the dam’s water elevation went down to 280 meters above sea level (masl).
On Monday noon, the dam’s water elevation was 281.19 masl. One more gate was opened at 8 a.m. as the volume of water coming into the dam increased.
Valdez said the dam was discharging water at 483 cms, as the dam took in water at the rate of 414 cms from the excess water released by the Binga Dam in Benguet and run off water from the surrounding mountains.
At 6 a.m. Monday, Binga Dam, which is located upstream of Agno River, had two spillway gates open, spilling water at 334 cms.
In Rosales town, the Agno River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (ARFFWC) warned residents along the major river systems of the province to be alert for floods.
In its flood bulletin issued at 4 a.m. Monday, ARFFWC said flooding is expected to persist in the low-lying areas of Sta. Barbara, Calasiao, Binmaley, Binalonan and Malasiqui towns and the cities of Dagupan and Urdaneta because of the critical level of the Sinocalan, Ingalera and Tagamusing Rivers, which traverse these areas.
It also said flooding is expected to occur in low-lying areas in nine central and northern Pangasinan towns because of the slow rise of water levels at the Bued, Patalan, Angalacan and Aloragat Rivers. Reports from Villamor Visaya Jr. and Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon