Dams on red alert; classes cancelled

Water diverted from Ipo to La Mesa, which is still about to spill; Classes suspended for Monday and red alert issued

Map of La Mesa Dam affected area. Graphics by Mich Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – The La Mesa Dam in Quezon City, Metro Manila and the Ipo Dam in Bulacan were placed on red alert level as both are nearing their spilling levels, state weather bureau Pagasa announced on Monday dawn, July 30.

Pagasa issued at 12.00 am a red warning signal for the Metro Manila area warning of flooding in low-lying areas and those located near river channels, particularly Tullahan River (see map above).

The weather bureau also said: “An intense rain (15.5 mm) was observed at La Mesa for the past hour and is most likely to continue for the next 3 hours.”

Pagasa advised residents in high risk areas to take precautionary measures, monitor the weather conditions and watch out for the next warning.

Source: www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph

Both dams close to spilling level

As of 2 a.m. on Monday, July 30, dam levels were at 79.74 meters, only 41cm away from the spilling level at 80.15 meters, Pagasa said.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has recommended the evacuation of all residents living in the area of the dam, according to his office.

Previously, authorities raised the red alert warning over La Mesa Dam and urged residents affected by the dam’s overflow to evacuate due to possible floods, according to and ABS-CBN News report.

Shortly after midnight, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council placed the Ipo Dam in Bulacan province also on red alert.

Its water level was at 100.60m just after midnight and the spilling level is 101m.

Divert water from Ipo to La Mesa

At 1.50 am, Ipo opened one of its doors after surpassing the spilling level and released water which will flow to La Mesa, Pagasa said.

Teddy Angeles, an engineer at La Mesa, earlier told DZRH radio station that the average increase in water level is 3cm per hour.

Angeles said if the water level goes beyong the spilling level, it will overflow to one area, focused on the Tullahan River, so the affected areas will be parts of Fairview, Valenzuela, Navotas, Quezon City and Malabon.

The official reminded that only local government can order a precautionary evacuation.

Power outages in Metro Manila

Power outages were reported in late Sunday in parts of Parañaque, Pasig, Quezon City, Manila, and Makati.

Most interruptions were caused by strong winds that tripped systems, or due precautionary measures by Meralco.

Meralco tweeted that its ground crew were patrolling affected areas but could not immediately give any “estimated time of power restoration in all affected areas.”

The power company did not provide details as to the location of the areas affected.

Hundreds affected by storm

Tropical storm ‘Gener’ forcing the evacuation of close to 1,300 people, the NDRRMC noted in its 2am bulletin.

The NDRRMC said a total of 1,293 people or 310 families were evacuated while over 11,000 more were affected from rains and flood in five provinces in Central Luzon, Mimaropa and Western Visayas regions.

After the release of water from Ipo, it is expected that residents in eight villages bordering the Tullahan River will also leave their homes.

Suspension of classes on Monday

The Department of Education also announced the suspension of classes on Monday, July 30, as rain poured Sunday in various parts of Metro Manila.

Local government units and schools have announced class suspensions due to inclement weather.

Rain poured continuously on Sunday, July 29, as tropical storm Gener (international codename Saola) intensified. ‘Gener’ has a 600 km radius and is bringing heavy to intense rainfall in northeast parts of the country.

More rains came — sometimes coupled with howling winds — as another low pressure area (LPA) was spotted in the vicinity of Bataan and Zambales west of Luzon.

Weather bureau PAGASA said there is no storm signal in Metro Manila. – Rappler.com