By Freddie Velez
MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan—The strong earthquake that hit Luzon Monday did not damage Angat Dam at all.
Angat Dam engineers and Condrado Sison, Dam management manager, reported their assessment to Liz Mungcal of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).
The engineers said modern instruments including motion sensors that had been installed at the dam showed not a single crack in the structure.
Angat supplies 97 percent of the water for Metro Manila and Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said it is hard to imagine the effects to residents of Metro Manila if the dam is destroyed.
The magnitude 6.1 tremor sent many Bulacan residents rushing out of homes and offices.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology tracked the quake’s epicenter two kilometers northeast in Castillejos, Zambales.
“Nakakatakot naman talaga, ang lakas ng lindol, ngayon lang namin naramdaman yon. Kitang kita mo ang pagsasayaw ng mga bahay, kotseng nakaparada at mga poste ng Meralco. Takot na takot ako para sa mga anak ko, maging ang ibang mga nanay at tatay na naghahanap sa kani-kanilang mga anak na nasa labas, ” Gil Maniego of Baliwag town told Manila Bulletin Monday night.
The quake was recorded at Intensity 5 in Malolos and Obando in Bulacan, San Felipe in Zambales, Quezon City, Lipa City in Batangas, Manila, Abucay in Bataan, Valenzuela City and Magalang, Pampanga.
It was also felt in the towns of Angat, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bustos, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Paombong, Marilao, Norzagaray, Obando, Pandi, Plaridel, Pulilan, Santa Maria, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael, and in the cities of Meycauayan and San Jose Del Monte.
At SM City in Marilao town, Gladiz May Latiza, the mall’s public relations manager, told Manila Bulletin their regular earthquake drill helped tenants, employees and shoppers stay calm while the earth moved.
“No one panic, nothing was damaged, everyone in the mall were ushered to a safe place. Mall operations resumed after various safety checks,” Latiza said.
As of midmorningTuesday, Mungcal said no casualty or infrastructure damage was reported in the province.
Earlier, barangay chiefs from San Jose del Monte City and in the towns of Dona Remedios Trinidad, and Norzagaray asked the governor for an update on the situation at the dam which, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, straddles the West Valley fault line.
“Nakakakilabot isipin ang rumaragasang 30 feet of water kasama ang mga trosong likha ng illegal loggers at madadagdag pa yaong nabubunot ng malakas na agos ng tubig na mga malalaking punongkahoy patungo sa kapatagan ng lalawigan, if the 51-year-old Angat dam will collapse due to magnitude 7.2 strong earthquake,” Alvarado said.
“The horror will be unimaginable. The dam is located in the steepest slope of the mountain. Once it breaks, big boulders, illegally cut logs, and debris will cascade down and wipe out everything in its path,” he said.