‘Pepito’ leaves Binga, Magat dams still spilling water

MANILA – Binga and Magat dams in Luzon continued releasing water after severe tropical storm “Pepito” (international name ‘Saudel’) this week brought rains that significantly raised water level in both facilities.

‘Pepito’ is no longer affecting areas where Binga and Magat are but runoff from this storm’s rain continues feeding into both dams while the northeasterly surface wind flow has been bringing some rain there so these facilities must release water, noted Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hydrologist Aileen Abelardo.

“Spilling operations in those dams are in progress because of high water elevation there,” she said, citing conditions in the two facilities as of 10 a.m. Friday.

PAGASA data showed Binga’s 9 a.m. water elevation on Friday at 574.69 meters — just 0.31 meters below the spilling or normal high water level of 575 meters.

Abelardo said one Binga gate is already open at a 0.50-meter height to accommodate the spilling operation.

Such opening is higher than the gate’s 0.30 meter-high opening on Oct. 22 since Binga must discharge more of the water it is receiving, she noted.

Magat Dam’s 9 a.m. water level on Friday was at 191.09 meters, 1.91 meters lower than the 193 meters spilling level of the facility.

“A lot of water in Magat’s big watershed flows into this small dam so it fills up easily, making it necessary to release water beginning 4 p.m. of Oct. 21,” Abelardo said.

She said a gate of Magat is already open at a height of 2.0 meters, enabling it to discharge water accordingly.

PAGASA expects the northeasterly surface wind flow to bring 10 millimeters to 30 millimeters of rainfall over Magat sub-basin until Saturday (Oct. 24).

The sub-basin, where Binga is, may experience light rainfall due to the northeasterly surface wind flow as well, PAGASA added.  Catherine Teves /PNA – northboundasia.com