San Roque dam releases water to avert spillage

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Friday, September 30, 2011


SAN MANUEL, Pangasinan -- One of the gates of the San Roque dam was were partially opened by half a meter on Thursday afternoon, a move seen to reduce water stored at the facility that has risen to critical levels.

The water release was announced by the National Power Corporation (Napocor)-Agno Flood Forecasting and Warning System office on Wednesday afternoon.

With the water coming out at 70 cubic meters per second, the facility is expected to generate 400 megawatts from its turbines, authorities said.

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As of noontime Thursday, the dam's water level was a few millimeters lower than the 280 meters above sea level critical or spilling level, authorities said.

The dam's operator--the San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC)--already received the instructions for the opening on Wednesday, its site administrator and senior vice president for operations William Connell said.

For his part, Napocor Manager for Dam Flood forecasting Operations Virgilio Garcia said that6 the decision to release water was made because it was "suspected, projected that with the rain water of typhoon Pedring, water level at the dam will rise above the 280 masl [meters above sea level] critical level."

Water released is expected to reach the Carmen, Rosales portion of the Agno River in five hours, authorities said. It will reach Limahong Chanel in Lingayen and exit at the Lingayen Gulf in about eight to nine hours.

The released water from the dam will pass through the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Tayug, Sta. Maria, Rosales, Villasis, Sto. Tomas, Alcala, Bautista, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Bugallon, and Lingayen.

Agno, the Philippines' third largest river, traverses the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Tayug, Sta. Maria, Rosales, Villasis, Sto. Tomas, Alcala, Bautista, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Bugallon, and then through the Limahong Channel on its way to the Lingayen Gulf.

The gate will remain open until typhoon Quiel starts dumping water. Garcia further said they will continue monitoring the movement of the typhoon through their close coordination of Pagasa.

Garcia said aside from the announcements over the local radio stations, starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, patrol cars went out at nearby towns giving warning signals and disseminating warning messages. Twenty minutes before the schedule gate opening, a five-minute warning siren was sounded off. (Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre/Sunnex)

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