October 28, 2010 at 8:20 am 3 comments

Super typhoon but no devastating flood

In October of 2009, Typhoon Pepeng hit Pangasinan and the province was placed under signal number one.

At the San Roque Dam, people from the local government and media heard this from Tomas Valdez, vice president for corporate social responsibility of the San Roque Multipurpose Project (SRMP): “What you are seeing is the dam’s flood control component at work.”

Valdez made this announcement when the dam’s water level registered a record-high of 284.7 meter above sea level (MASL), which was 5.3 meters from its maximum level of 290 MASL.

“We have not opened our spillway gates yet. But our people no longer sleep because they are closely watching it,” Valdez continued.

What happened next?

A devastating flood swept the towns along the Agno River and Typhoon Pepeng was blamed by the San Roque Dam manager National Power Corporation and the spillway controller San Roque Power Corporation.

On the other hand, Pangasinan 5th District Rep. Mark Cojuangco in his privilege speech after the flood said “What happened during the height of the rain was that San Roque Dam released for more than 10 hours water at the level of 5,700 cubic meters per second, exceeding the capacity of the Agno River water system.”

Lives were lost and huge damages to properties were recorded.

The past week residents of Rosales and Villasis prepared for a flood scenario similar to 2009 when they heard that Super Typhoon Megi, said to be one of the strongest typhoons, will hit the country.

Pangasinan was placed under signal number three and Megi came slowly… hitting the entire regions 1 and 2 including Pangasinan moving at 7 kilometers per hour.

After Typhoon Megi was spotted out of Philippine territory, no flooding occurred in Rosales and Villasis and this time no lives were lost and damage to properties were minimal.

The difference is that there was no release of water from the dam.

The difference between death and destruction is the release of 5,700 cubic meters per second of dam water for 10 hours by the Napocor and the SRPC.

Entry filed under: News.

IN ROSALES : Vice Mayor Pajela joins residents on the march Napocor and San Roque Power Plant Corp.: Culprits in 2009 flood

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen  |  October 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    No devastating flood??? THERE was a devastating flood in Calasiao. Vehicles coming from San Carlos and Bayambang needed to take a detour so they could go to Dagupan.
    Set your facts straight please. .

  • 2. Karen  |  October 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    “What you are seeing is the dam’s flood control component at work.”

    The VP seemed more than glad to release that statement.

    The unspoken statement for last year’s flood:
    “What you see is the dam’s flood control component poorly or NOT at work at all.”

  • 3. profmelecio  |  October 29, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Your editorial hit the bull right on tom valdez’ mouthfull of usual assurances.His propaganda is calculated to give unsuspecting pepple living downstream of the dam a (false) sense of security.. For all his ” on-tpo-of-the situation” posturing, the truth is the npc hydrologist is the ONE that orders the srpc hydrologist to open the spillway.The other side to this truth is that it is the npc hydrologist who also does NOT give the order to open the gates in order to collect more rainwater to power the generators not so much minding the rise of the water to critical level, only to release it in large volume later thus causing unnecessary death and destruction in the case of pepeng (and marce in 2004). Why the npc hydrologist did so should be the focus of any inquiry!

    – Is it because he does not know how to translate met(rainfall) event into hydro(f reservoir flooding)event?
    – is it because he does not have substantial data on the AGNO watershed(forest cover/denudation, soil absorption, area so as to calculate the run-off coefficient of the corresponding rainfall event?
    – is it because they ignored the old agreement with then former governor agbayani that the spilling level should be reset at 275 masl whenever a typhoon is expected to cross over the watershed?
    -are the npc and srpc hydrologists under “pressure” to conform to the wishes of npc/srpc top executives to prioritize power generation over safety?Tom valdez”s pronouncements
    and public posturing betrays this kind of mentality.

    Having learned enough from your previous editorial, should’nt the concerned agencies( the provincial government, npc,pagasa and srpc) equipped themselves with the necessary personnel, equipments, and met/hydro models so as to better manage all the spillways of the three dams along the AGNO river?
    If not, we should indeed be very wary next time we hear tom valdez mouthing his usual (false) assurances!


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