3 Luzon dams release water amid 'Ompong' rains

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) —  At least 3 Luzon dams have released water due to threats of flooding amid heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Ompong, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

By 6:00 a.m. of Saturday, Ambuklao Dam in Bokod, Benguet opened five dam gates at 2.5 meters to spill water into the Agno river system. Its water level had risen to 749.51 meters, close to its limit of 752 meters.

Binga Dam, connected to the Ambuklao Dam via the Agno river system, also opened six gates at 3.5 meters. The water level had reached 572.32 meters by 6:00 a.m., drawing near its 575-meter critical level level.

PAGASA hydrologist Elmer Caringal said the barangays of Dalupirit and Tinongdan will be affected by the water release from Binga.

"Kahit di umuulan, may tubig siya. Lagi siyang malapit doon sa normal high," Caringal said.

[Translation: Even when it isn't raining, there is water. It's always near the normal high.]

Spilled water from the Ambuklao Dam will be collected by the Binga Dam. From there, water will be caught by the San Roque Dam, the downstream of Agno river in San Manuel, Pangsinan.

Magat Dam in Isabela, which is connected to the Cagayan river, also opened two gates at 3 meters by 6:00 a.m. Saturday. He advised residents in the towns of Aurora, Burgos, Cabatuan, Gamu, Luna, Naguilian, Ramon, Reina Mercedes and San Mateo to stay alert, for possible flooding brought on by the dam's water release.

Ompong made landfall in Cagayan at around 1:40 a.m. early Saturday morning.