Residents near Magat Dam alerted vs flooding in aftermath of ‘Lawin’

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela — After typhoon “Lawin” pummelled Northern Philippines late Wednesday night, Magat Dam officials have renewed their call for alertness among townsfolk and evacuation to higher grounds as three spillway gates with six-meter-high opening at 1,375 cubic meters per second have been flowing floodwaters to rivers.

This, as heavy rains fell in the area after “Lawin” made a landfall around midnight, and continued till morning Thursday.

The Magat Dam is located on the Magat River at the boundary of the towns of Alfonso Lista in the province of Ifugao and Ramon in Isabela.

The water level of the dam was pegged at 187.30 meters on Thursday morning.

“Lawin” also blanketed many areas of Northern Luzon in darkness due to toppled electric posts.

Worst-hit by Typhoon Lawin was the province of Isabela where it literally twisted metals and blew roofs, and destroyed crops.

“This is the most enduring as we were sleepless monitoring the typhoon inside our houses from 6 pm to 3 pm–about nine-hour onslaught,” according to Mario Tumbaga of Alibagu village in the City of Ilagan, whose corn and rice plantation was destroyed.

The province has remained in darkness as the Santiago-Tuguegarao 69kv line cables and some transmission facilities were damaged and repair is yet to be completed.

In Cagayan, the Tuguegarao-Lallo 69kv line was also damaged, according to National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Northern Luzon spokesperson Lilibeth Gaydowen.

Passenger bus drivers were told to take alternative routes to or from Tuguegarao City as clearing operations by the public works, police, fire officers and military personnel and volunteers took hours today (Thursday), according to Col. Jose Vladimir Cagara of the 5th Infantry Division who heads the military team in clearing operations at the national road in Tumauini town. Villamor Visaya Jr/