Senator allays earthquake fears on Iloilo dam project

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012


RESIDENTS in Iloilo should not worry about the construction of the proposed Jalaur main dam and reservoir since it is not prone to massive damage that can be brought by movement of an active fault line.

Citing a report from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Drilon said the proposed P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project-Stage II (JRMP) is 11 kilometers away from the nearest active fault line in the area which is the West Panay Fault.

By comparison, the main and secondary dams in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija are approximately 5.5 and 3.1 kilometers, respectively, away from the Digdig Segment of the Philippine Fault.

And even if one of the Jalaur's component dams is situated five kilometers east of the fault, it is still safe from effects of an earthquake, Drilon said, quoting information from Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum.

The other components of the project are also far from the West Panay Fault which include the proposed Albunan-Ulian Catch (11 km), Jalaur Afterbay Dam (12 km), Tagbacan Catch Dam (10 km), Jayubo Catch Dam (9 km), Ulian Afterbay Dam (6 km), and Ulian High Dam (5 km).

Just to be sure, however, Drilon adopted Solidum’s recommendation for a buffer zone against ground rupture hazard of at least five meters on both sides of the mapped fault trace.

JRMP is an irrigation facility designed with provisions for a hydro-electric power and bulk water supply, is supported by P8.95-billion development assistance from South Korea’s Export-Import Bank's Economic Cooperation Fund.

The government is expected to shell out P2.2 billion.

Once completed, Drilon said the project -- the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon -- will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 32,000 hectares of farm land and benefit more than 783,000 farmers.

This will increase the irrigated lands in the region by around 10 percent and the annual regional rice production by around five percent. It will also expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops, noted Drilon. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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