Bulacan dams release water, trigger floods
CITY OF MALOLOS—More than 10,000 residents were evacuated in Bulacan province on Thursday as the Ipo and Bustos dams discharged waters after reaching their spilling level in the wake of heavy rains spawned by Supertyphoon “Egay” (international name: Doksuri), authorities said.
Data from the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) showed that 2,633 families, or 10,168 people, from nine towns and two cities had to be taken to various evacuation centers as floodwater reached as high as 1.2 meters (4 feet) and submerged low-lying areas.
According to the PDRRMO, the displaced residents were from the towns of Norzagaray, Bocaue, Guiguinto, Pandi, Angat, Marilao, San Miguel, Sta. Maria and Calumpit; and the cities of Malolos and Baliwag.
Ipo Dam rose to 101.17 meters at 8 p.m. on Thursday, slightly surpassing its 101-meter spilling level and prompting its officials to discharge 49.83 cubic meters per second of water.
The elevation of the lower Bustos Dam reached 17.22 meters at 10 p.m. on Thursday, breaching its 17.36-meter spilling level after catching the excess water from Ipo Dam. Bustos Dam released 646 cms of water at 3:45 p.m. on Friday.
Both dams are located underneath the larger Angat Dam and catch its runoff water.
The elevation of Angat Dam, which supplies 97 percent of the tap water requirements of nearby Metro Manila, rose to more than 3 meters between Tuesday and Wednesday when Egay dumped heavy rains over the area.As of 2 p.m on Friday, Angat Dam’s level was at 189.47 meters above sea level, which increased from 186.20 masl as of 8 p.m. on Thursday.
According to the PDRRMO, the high tide at 3:49 a.m. on Friday worsened the widespread flooding near Angat Dam, especially in Norzagaray, Angat, City of Baliwag, Paombong and Calumpit.
In Pangasinan province, some portions of Dagupan City and Calasiao town were also submerged in 0.9-meter (3-foot) floodwater due to the torrential rains dumped by Egay over northern Luzon.
The Pantal River System, which traverses the two localities, was already swollen and overflowed into the villages along its bank.
Dagupan’s central business district was also heavily flooded due to the combination of continuous rain and high tide, worsened by the ongoing construction of the elevated canals and roads.
—REPORTS FROM CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE AND YOLANDA SOTELO INQ