Laguna de Bay continues to swell

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SAN PEDRO, Laguna, Philippines — Bouts of heavy downpour early Tuesday had caused the water level in the Laguna de Bay to rise anew, said an official of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

Engineer Emil Hernandez, a resident hydrologist of the LLDA said that as of 9:30 a.m., the water level was at 12.25 meters above sea level (masl) or “just .25 meters before it reaches the critical level.”

This was an increase from 11.6 masl over the weekend and 12.1 masl when typhoon “Maring” began to dump water. The lake water stayed at that level until around midnight on Monday.  The lake’s critical level is at 12.5 masl.

Aside from the rains, “we are also surrounded by watersheds so there is still water coming from Cavite, Laguna and Marikina,” Hernandez said in a phone interview.

Floodwaters that submerged several lakeshore villages in Laguna on Monday began to subside, but Hernandez said if the rains continued, the water level might increase by a few more centimeters.

“That’s what we are keeping an eye on. If the water level reaches 12.3 meters and becomes stagnant, a little rain in the coming days would cause a flood, that unlike that of (Monday), would take months before it recedes because (the lake) is swollen already,” he said.

The lake’s water level reached around 13.9 masl during typhoon Ondoy in 2009 causing it to spill over and submerge hectares of shore land.

“But a few weeks before Ondoy, the lake water level was almost the same as it is now,” Hernandez said.

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