Magat Dam breaches spilling level

CAGAYAN, Philippines – Authorities in Cagayan Valley are warning residents near rivers to take precautionary measures as the Magat Dam reached its spilling level.

As of noon on Wednesday, October 31, the dam's reservoir had reached 193.24 meters, above its spilling level of 193 meters.

Seven of its 8 gates have been opened to allow the release of 4,392 cubic meters per second of water.

The dam, one of the largest in the Philippines and a major tributary of the Cagayan River, has been releasing water since Monday, October 29. Heavy rains dumped by Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) contributed to the rising water level.

Although 4 gates have been opened since Tuesday afternoon, October 30, and eventually 7 gates on Wednesday morning, the water level in the reservoir still breached the spilling level.

On Tuesday, several low-lying areas in Isabela and Cagayan were flooded, prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents.

With the continuous release of water from the Magat Dam, authorities advised evacuees not to return home just yet, since the floods could worsen.

"Pinapayuhan ang mga nakatira malapit sa Ilog Magat at lahat ng mga ilog na madadaanan ng tubig mula sa Magat Dam na mag-relocate na sa lalong madaling panahon," the Isabela provincial government said in an advisory.

(We are advising those who live near the Magat River and all rivers that will be receiving water from the Magat Dam to relocate as soon as possible.)

Residents are also advised not to cross rivers. –