(UPDATE) Pantabangan, Angat dams to release water from reservoirs Thursday

Posted at 10/14/09 8:08 PM

San Roque dam to increase volume of water spilling

MANILA – Operators of Pantabangan Dam and Angat Dam announced Wednesday that water would again be released from their respective reservoirs on Thursday due to heavy rains brought by a Low Pressure Area.

An advisory from officials of San Roque Dam meanwhile announced it will increase the volume of water being discharged by Wednesday.

Engineer Antonio Nangel, operations manager of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System -- which operates Pantabangan dam, said Wednesday early evening it will release water starting 7 a.m. Thursday, October 15.

Nangel said heavy rains has caused the water level of the dam to rise to almost spilling level of 221 meters. The water level of the dam is currently at 220.45 meters. Nangel said the dam will release water at the rate of 100 cubic meters per second on Thursday.

Areas to be affected by dam spilling operations are:

In Nueva Ecija: Rizal, Bongabon, Palayan City, Cabanatuan, Sta. Rosa, San Isidro, Cabiao, San Antonio, Jaen, Bayambang

In Pampanga: Arayat area, Lubao, and Candaba

Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali earlier said continuous rains and the release of water from the dam caused heavy flooding in 15 towns and 4 cities in the province.

Angat dam

An notice sent by Angat dam officials meanwhile said that water from its reservoir will also be released starting 6 a.m. Thursday. The discharge would reportedly be at a maximum of 100 cubic meters per second.

According to the Web site of state weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), areas that would be affected by the discharge from Angat dam are Norzagaray, Angat, San Rafael, Dustos, Baliuag, Pulilan and Plaridel.

San Roque dam

Meanwhile a general notice sent by San Roque dam officials said that by 12 noon Thursday, the rate of water discharge from its reservoir would be at an estimated 600 cubic meters per second.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, PAGASA reported San Roque dam was spilling water at 498 cubic meters per second.

The announcements of water releases from dams’ officials came after President Arroyo reportedly ordered officials of San Roque Dam to explain the "untimely" water releases that caused massive flooding in Pangasinan and nearby provinces.

"The instruction was given yesterday to the manager of San Roque Dam to review what had been brought out as a complaint because of the untimeliness of the release of the water. Some local executives were complaining that there was not enough time to be able to inform the people. As a matter of fact, may nagreklamo nga dun na housewife. I read in the papers na sinabi nya na they did not know that there would be a release or water, nagulat na lang sila when the inundation came," Ermita told reporters at the sidelines of the budget hearing on the Office of the President.

Provincial officials of Pangasinan and other concerned groups are mulling the filing of charges against the administrators and operators of the San Roque Dam for releasing water at the height of tropical depression "Pepeng."

Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino said water from the dam caused massive flooding and destruction of property and crops in 38 towns and cities in the province.

Some local officials also questioned the supposed lack of advance notice from the San Roque Multipurpose Project (SRMP) about the release of water from the dam.