Near-spilling Magat, Ipo dams seen unlikely to release water soon

MANILA — The water reserves at the Magat and Ipo dams in Luzon are both nearing spilling levels, but weather bureau scientists see a nil chance for these facilities to release water this week.

“It’s unlikely for those dams to release water that soon, since the expected rainfall there won’t be enough to raise the reserve to spilling level,” Ailene Abelardo, a hydrologist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said in an interview on Tuesday.

Moderate to heavy rainfall is needed for the reserves in Magat and Ipo to reach spilling levels, Abelardo said, adding however that PAGASA has not made such a forecast.

PAGASA reported that Magat Dam reserve’s elevation as of 6 a.m. on Tuesday was at 192.62 meters, just 0.38 meter below the dam’s 193-meter-high spilling or normal high-water level.

At the same time, Ipo Dam reserve’s elevation was at 100.99 meters, 0.01 meter below the dam’s 101-meter-high spilling level.

“What we’re expecting there (Magat and Ipo dams) are isolated rain showers only due to thunderstorms,” PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said.

Aurelio said so far, PAGASA has not seen any weather system that could bring moderate to heavy rainfall to these areas, making a release of water from these dams this week unlikely.

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