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Napocor continues to release water from San Roque Dam

MANILA, Philippines - State-run National Power Corp. yesterday reported that it is continuously releasing water from San Roque Dam and might release more to prevent swelling of the dam in case of heavy rains from incoming typhoon Ramil.

As of 7 a.m. yesterday, Napocor update on San Roque Dam showed that it had reached the 278 meters spilling level.

This level was earlier said to be the “goal” of Napocor to keep a comfortable level of spill, or an allowance of two meters so San Roque could absorb the impact of heavy rainfall as part of its flood control management and avoid the repeat of the huge flooding recently in Northern Luzon.

The spilling of more water from the dam is consistent with the new interim protocol that was drawn recently in preparation for the incoming typhoon Ramil and while waiting for the final amended protocol which is expected to be completed by Nov. 30 this year.

Based on the interim protocol, Napocor would be allowed to lower the High Water Level of the San Roque dam by at least two meters from 280 meters to 278 meters “to increase the capability of flood control mitigation and function of the dam.”

Once the water level reaches 278 meters, the maximum allowable spill level, the dam will start pre-spilling at 500 cubic meters and the water flow will continuously be monitored.

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“If the water level continues to rise despite release at 500 cubic meters, apply proportionate increase rate of water spill taking into consideration the rate of inflow going to the dam and the level of the Agno River downstream,” the protocol said. 

It would be noted that Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said strong rains brought about by the return of typhoon Pepeng had prompted the Napocor to order the release of water from the San Roque dam.

San Roque Power Corp. vice president Tom Valdez, pointed out that there is no economic value to hold more than 280 meters of water in the dam since this level should provide enough water for the dam to use over the dry season up to the next rainy season.

It would be noted that a multi-sectoral investigating team, which will include Solita “Winnie” Monsod, former Socio-Economic Planning Secretary, was formed to investigate and recommend if appropriate cases will be filed against individuals who caused heavy flooding in Northern Luzon at the height of typhoon Pepeng that led to the death of hundreds of residents in the areas.

Napocor, meanwhile, has vowed to strictly implement the interim protocol which will include a general warning of six hours prior to the release of water from the dam.

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