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Magat Dam / The Northern Forum

Water from dams submerge villages 

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Water released from five dams in Luzon caused massive flooding in riverside villages, a government hydrologist said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

Richard Orindain of the hydro-meteorological division of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that Angat, Ipo, Ambuklao, Binga and Magat dams have been discharging water to avoid reaching critical levels.

The five reservoirs breached normal levels after days of rain from three succeeding typhoons.

The last typhoon was “Ulysses,” which slammed into Luzon last Thursday.

Orindain said Binga Dam in Benguet and Magat Dam in Isabela, major sources of irrigation water in Luzon, have been releasing water to prevent from reaching spilling levels.

Binga has an outflow of 494.71 cubic meters per second, Orindain said. Areas affected by the discharge are Barangay Dalupirip and Tinongdan in Itogon, Benguet.

Threatened by water released from Magat are the towns of Ramon, San Mateo, Aurora, Cabatuan, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Burgos, Naguilian and Gamu in Isabela.

And downstream of Angat and Ipo dams are the towns of Norzagaray, Angat, San Rafael, Bustos, Baliuag, Pulilan, Plaridel and Hagonoy in Bulacan.

Orindain said none of the dams have reached spilling level, but they have started releasing excess water in anticipation of more rains induced by the La Niña phenomenon and the amihan or northeast monsoon.

After exiting Luzon, Ulysses has re-intensified into a typhoon as it is moved toward Vietnam, Pagasa reported on Friday.

It was last tracked 500 kilo-meters west of Iba, Zambales, moving west-northwestward at 10 kilometers per hour (kph).

Ulysses packed winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Moderate to heavy rains will still be experienced over Batanes and Babuyan Islands while light to moderate with at times heavy rains may prevail over the rest of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Norte and Aurora.

Pagasa forecaster Raymon Ordinario said no weather disturbance is expected in the next three to five days.

“But based on our forecast, we are expecting at least one more tropical cyclone within this month and another two to three more next month,” Ordinario said.

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