Photo courtesy of NIA MARIIS

Magat Dam reaches spilling level; widespread flooding possible

Raymon DullanaRaymon Dullana is The Northern Forum's new editor in chief. He also works as correspondent for

Cagayan Valley

CAGAYAN VALLEY, Philippines- Authorities here are warning residents near the rivers to take precautionary measures as Magat Dam reached its spilling level.

As of 12 noon on Wednesday, October 31, the dam’s reservoir has reached 193.24-meter water level, above its spilling level of 193 meters.

Seven of its 8 gates are opened to allow release of 4,392 cubic meter per second of water.

The dam, one of the largest in the Philippines and a major tributary of the Cagayan River, has been releasing water since Monday, October 29. Heavy rains dumped by Typhoon Rosita contributed to the rising water level.

Although 4 gates have been opened since Tuesday afternoon, and was increased to 7 gates on Wednesday morning, the water level in its reservoir still breached through spilling level.

On Tuesday, October 30, several low-lying villages in Isabela and Cagayan have been reported flooded, prompting evacuations of thousands of residents.

With the continuous release of Magat Dam, authorities here advised those who evacuated their houses due to threats of flashfloods not to go back to their homes yet as higher floods are possible.

“Pinapayuhan ang mga nakatira malapit sa Ilog Magat at lahat ng mga ilog na madadaanan ng tubig mula sa Magat Dam na mag-relocate na sa lalong madaling panahon,” the Isabela provincial government said in an advisory.

(We are advising those who are residing near Magat River and all the rivers that will be receiving waters from Magat Dam to relocate as soon as possible.)

Residents are also advised not to cross the river using small boats, or stay near the rivers.