Tuesday, November 15, 2011
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, November 16, 2011–To ensure 24 hour basis monitoring of rising floodwaters in the event of heavy rains and typhoons, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said that they will be installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the steel gates of the Pantabangan Dam and other major dams in the country and to guarantee that these irrigation facilities are secured, particularly during nighttime.
NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel said that the CCTV cameras play vital roles in monitoring water levels in the countrys’ major dams where they seek for funding for the CCTVs.
“With the CCTVs, our monitoring of dams will be accurate and thorough and we would be able to keep track of the conditions of these dams even at night. Having CCTVs is most crucial when trying to monitor the water level which rises significantly during typhoons,” Nangel said.
Nangel said putting CCTVs is a “win-win” solution as it will also tighten security around dam facilities. He expressed preference for the CCTVs even as other places hosting various dam systems plan to put up such facilities as monitoring mechanisms to prevent overflowing and trigger floods.
Earlier, Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado raised the possibility of installing CCTVs at the spillways of Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams and major rivers of the province with the monitoring systems to be set up at the operations center of the Bulacan provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRDMO) at the capitol compound.
The plan was apparently hatched when flood ravaged the towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy at the height of typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel” which were reportedly aggravated by the release of water from the three dams.
In Cauayan, Isabela, the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS) which operates the Magat Dam covering 84,000 hectares, is now in the process of installing a CCTV. According to MARIIS operations manager Helsy Bermudez it is expected to be operational within the week.
In Nueva Ecija’s Pantabangan Dam, Gov. Aurelio Umali said that the history of the dam is as equally important in the release of water so people could prepare for floods aside from CCTVs where images beamed by these cameras would help feed local officials and residents accurate and early information on water levels.
Umali said Nueva Ecija was able to prevent severe flooding during typhoons because its own PDRRMO thoroughly studied the history of water release of the Pantabangan Dam. “What is more important is to know the dam’s history – its inflow and outflow and its storage capacity – so dam regulators will be guided on what should be done,” he said.
Umali stressed that the province has effectively handled past calamities with consistent monitoring of low pressure areas and releasing water from the dam and other irrigation systems ahead of the coming typhoons.
The Pantabangan is the country’s biggest irrigation system, irrigating 102,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Nueva Ecija and Central Luzon.
Umali cited that during typhoon “Ondoy,” the province suffered zero casualty because the Upper Pampanga river Integrated Irrigation Systems which runs the Pantabangan Dam released water several days before the typhoon came. (Jason de Asis)
MAKATI City, November 15, 2011―Even as they gather in excitement for the celebration of the National Youth Day 2011, delegates also mourned the sudden death of San Fernando, La Union Bishop Artemio Rillera, SVD.
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