Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Secretary Eduardo Año stressed Sunday that dams should be opened to release water before the expected typhoon to minimize flooding incidents during weather disturbances with heavy rains.

dam 1024x576 - Año proposes early release of water from dams

In a briefing with President Duterte in Cagayan province, Año noted that the massive flooding in the region during typhoon “Ulysses’’ was worsened when the gates of six dams were opened to release water.

“I think we will propose na in times of calamities and typhoon, dapat merong nagkokontrol diyan (that in times of calamities and typhoons, someone has to have control in there (opening the floodgates of the dam). Sino, kailan bubuksan ang dam (Who, when the dam should be opened),’’ said Año.

Especially when there are forecasts on the volume of rainfall, Año saw the need to open the gates of the dam when necessary. 

Año added that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) should be given the authority to control the opening of dams especially when there is a typhoon.

“I will propose na pag-usapan namin sa NDRRMC na sa times ng calamity o typhoon, ang NDRRMC ang magbibigay ng approval kung kailan pwede magbukas, ilang gate, para controlled natin (that we discuss in the NDRRMC meeting that in times of calamity or typhoon the NDRRMC should be given the authority to approve when the gates of the dams should be opened and how many gates should be opened so that the water release can be controlled),’’ he added.

The DILG chief pointed out that the LGUs like in Regions 4, 3 and Metro Manila noted that the release of water from dams adds to the heavy flooding.

Earlier, weather hydrologist Richard Orendain explained that the failure to release water in instances of spilling levels may cause a dam to collapse which is far more disastrous.

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