Obando, Calumpit still flooded; San Roque continues water release
Philippines – In Bulacan, disaster response officials have started strict monitoring of water levels in the province’s three dams–Angat, Ipo and Bustos–amid heavy rains here since last week.
As of 10 a.m. Monday, Angat Dam’s reservoir level was 202.67 meters above sea level (masl), some 10 meters below its 212 masl spilling level.
Reports from the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) showed that operators of the Ipo Dam have been releasing water regularly since July 30 to avoid filling the reservoir to its spilling level of 100.1 masl.
Water release was stopped on Saturday but heavy rains on Sunday prompted Ipo operators to resume the release at 4:45 a.m. It was stopped at 5 p.m. that day but the dam’s gate was reopened at 11:30 p.m.
Water level at the Bustos Dam was recorded at 17.41 masl on Monday, almost reaching its 17.7 masl spilling level.
Water released from Angat in Norzagaray town goes to the Ipo reservoir. Water flowing from Ipo goes to Bustos Dam and is subsequently released to the Angat River.
Felicisima Mungcal, PDRRMC chief, said Ipo was releasing water at a rate of only 60 cubic meters per second (cms) and this would not flood low-lying villages along the Angat River.
Mungcal said as of Monday, flood caused by heavy rains in Calumpit town was about a foot high. Obando, she said, was submerged under 2.5 feet of floodwater that was aggravated by high tide.
In Pangasinan, the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town on Monday continued to spill water, reducing its water elevation by 0.38 meter.
On Monday noon, the dam’s water level was 283.52 masl, which was slightly lower than the 283.9 masl water level recorded at 6 a.m. on Sunday.
In an advisory, Tom Valdez, San Roque Power Corp. vice president for corporate social responsibility, said with the dam’s two gates still open, at a total height of 1.5 meters, water was being spilled to the Agno River at the rate of 504 cms.
He said the dam was still taking in water from the Binga Dam in Benguet and run-off water from the Cordillera and Caraballo mountains at the rate of 468 cms.
At 6 a.m. Monday, Binga dam had three spillway gates open at a total height of 3 meters, releasing water at 410 cms. Its elevation reached 574.39 masl, almost reaching its spilling level of 575 masl.
Ambuklao Dam is also discharging water through two gates to ease its reservoir elevation of 751.6 masl. Ambuklao’s spilling level is 752 masl.
In Rosales town, the Agno River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warming Center maintained its high alarm level, warning residents and officials in 25 towns and cities along the Sinocalan, Ingalera, Tagamusing and Agno Rivers of possible flooding because of rising river water.
But it said it expected light rains to fall on the basin, which runs from the Cordillera mountains to the Pangasinan plains.
No widespread flooding had been reported on Monday in the towns and cities along the province’s river systems.
Virgilio Garcia, in-charge of the flood forecasting and warming system for dam operations of the National Power Corp. (Napocor), said in a radio interview that San Roque will continue spilling water until its elevation drops to 280 masl. The dam’s maximum water elevation is 290 masl.
But Gov. Amado Espino Jr., fearing a repeat of the 2009 massive flooding in the province, urged Napocor to keep the dam’s water level below 280 masl to provide space for rain water that may be dumped by incoming typhoons.
The dam was blamed for flooding in 2009 that submerged 38 towns and cities and ravaged some P4-billion worth of crops, fish, roads, bridges and dikes after Napocor’s dam operators opened all of the dam’s spillway gates when it was about to reach its full capacity. (Reports from Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon, and Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon)
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