Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bulacan braces for possible Angat Dam break

EdCop's Noel Ortigas during the TWG meeting.

MALOLOS CITY—Recent disasters in the Visayas kept dam operators and local officials in Bulacan preparing for possible Angat Dam Break.

Liz Mungcal, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) said that before the Bohol earthquake struck, they have been meeting with dam operators.

This includes operators of the Angat, Ipo and Butos Dam, along with officials of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), and the Common Purpose Facilities (CPF).

“We have to prepare in anticipation for disaster that will be brought by possible break of the Angat Dam,” said Muncgal in the sidelines of the meeting of members of the Angat Dam break technical working group at the La Mesa Dam in Novaliches, Quezon City on Tuesday, November 12.

Mungcal noted that Angat Dam break can occur anytime if  case of movements in the  Marikina West Valley Faultline (MWVF).
La Mesa Dam watershed
The same was echoed by members of the TWG who noted that the disaster woild be unimaginable.

To prepare for such possibilities, Mungcal said the provincial government in coordination with the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and the Engineering Development Corporation of the Philippines (Edcop) had prepared an emergency action plan (EAP).

The said EAP will be presented to Bulacan and Pampanga mayors and disaster officers next week.

Some of the inputs on the said EAP is the establishment of early warning system (EWS), evacuation routes and possible mass evacuation center.

Some of the evacuation areas identified are located in the upland areas of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

Based on simulation study conducted by Tonkin & Taylor International and Edcop, a wall water rising to 10 to 30 meters will rush out into the Angat River within hours in case of a dam break.

The said on rush of water is said to wipe everything on its path that will make damages left by earthquake in Bohol and typhoon Yolanda in Visayas as a thing of the past.

Disaster officials said that it will initially damage Bulacan, but the long term effect will be in Metro Manila which will ran out of water for months.

This is due to the fact that Metro Manila is drawing 97 percent of its potable water requirement  from Angat Dam.   Dino Balabo

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