PAGASA issues flood precaution advisory as Magat Dam releases water


Residents in low-lying communities in Isabela were warned against possible flooding as the Magat Dam in Isabela discharged water from its reservoir on Monday morning, Aug. 22.

In an advisory issued at 9 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said areas that are likely to be affected by Magat Dam’s release of water are the municipalities of Ramon, San Mateo, Aurora, Cabatuan, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Burgos, Naguilian, and Gamu—all in the province of Isabela.

The dam’s level of 187.10 meters as of 6 a.m. is about 3 meters below its 190-meter normal high water level.

Magat Dam authorities have opened one of Magat Dam’s gates with a 0.50-meter opening.

According to PAGASA Hydro-Meteorology Division weather facilities specialist Edgar Dela Cruz, Magat Dam may exceed the 190-meter normal high water level during the passage of tropical storm Florita.

“Ine-expect namin na aakyat siya aabot sa 190 meters dahil medyo mataas yung average rainfall na nakuha namin sa models (We expect it to reach 190 meters because the average rainfall we got from the models is quite high),” Dela Cruz said in a press conference.

“Ine-expect namin na kahit naka-open siya ng gate, ng half meter, malamang sa hapon ay baka magdagdag pa ng gate open (We expect that even if it has already opened one gate at half a meter, it may open another gate or increase the gate opening by Monday afternoon),” he added.

Dela Cruz also said PAGASA has also issued general flood advisories in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), and Bicol Region.

“Pero ang pinakababantayan natin ay ang CAR dahil kapag dumaan ang bagyo sa mga lugar na nilindol medyo high risk siya sa mudslide or landslide (But what we will closely monitor is the Cordillera Administrative Region because the storm may traverse the earthquake-hit areas that are quite high risk of mudslides or landslides),” he said.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted Abra and nearby provinces on July 27.