By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – Local residents are bracing themselves for more flooding after the water level at Andat Dam was monitored at 209.47 meters, or just .53 meters from its spilling level of 210 meters, at around 6 a.m. Monday.
“Patuloy ang pagtaas ng water level sa Angat dam, at kapag kinakailangan na nilang magbawas ng maraming tubig, o kahit na paunti-unti lamang ay tiyak na madadagdagan ang kalbaryo ng baha na aming dinaranas mahigit ng isang buwan ngayon (The water level at Angat Dam continues to rise, and if needed, they would have to release more water. And even if they do it little by little, we will still feel the additional trouble to worsen what we have gone through for the past month,” a group of residents here said.
For more than a month, three coastal municipalities in this province have remained under flood water.
In the town of Calumpit, out of 29 villages, 16 are still deluged under one to three feet of flood, affecting 20,815 families, or 90,497 individuals.
In Hagonoy, 1,811 families or 9,505 persons from Barangays San Juan, Palapat and Sto Nino are still living under almost a foot of flood. This is the same condition 6,426 families or 32,130 individuals from the villages of Sto Rosario, San Isidro 11, Pinalagdan and Kapitangan of Paombong.
Temporarily sheltered at the 10 evacuation centers here are families from barangays Meysulao (91 families), San Miguel (76), Calizon (78), Gugo (8), Gatbuca (89), Iba O’ Este (220), Balite (2), Sapang Bayan (21), Sta Lucia (9), and Caniogan (9)
Unfortunately, it is not only Angat Dam that is being threatened to be overwhelmed by rising water levels.
At Ipo Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan, the water level was 100.93 meters (spilling level 101 meters), while the water elevation at Bustos Dam in Bustos, Bulacan was at 17.54 meters (spilling level 17.50 meters).
Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado yesterday said, that they were constantly monitoring the three dams in the province.
“Everything is properly coordinated,” he said, adding that they regularly coordinate with dam officials, who they have requested to momentarily closed sluice gates to stop the release of water, or release it gradually because the low lying towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy are still flooded.
They also keeping a tight watch on the water carrying capacity of the Angat river and Labangan Channel where the release waters of Ipo and Bustos dams flow.
Meanwhile, health and social workers are still attending to the needs of the flood victims. The distribution of relief goods and medicines continues for affected families that are still housed at the evacuation centers.