Binga, Ambuklao, and Magat Dams

MANILA – The Ambuklao, Binga, and Magat dams in Luzon are being prepared for the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ulysses (international name Vamco), which may develop into a typhoon by Wednesday.

The dams further released water on Tuesday as a precaution against structural problems that can arise if "Ulysses" raises their water levels to dangerous elevations, noted Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hydrologist Rosalie Pagulayan.

"Such preemptive water release is in anticipation of rainfall that 'Ulysses' may bring," she said.

She said the spilling operations aim to ensure that water in the dams will remain at elevations that would not compromise the facilities' structural integrity.

According to PAGASA weather forecaster Ezra Bulquerin, "Ulysses" may bring moderate to heavy rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday over Benguet province, where Ambuklao and Binga dams are located.

He forecasts the same rainfall on both days in Isabela province where Magat Dam is.

In its 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin on Tuesday, PAGASA said "Ulysses" was 475 km east of Catanduanes province's Virac municipality as of 10 a.m. of the same day.

"Ulysses" was moving northwestwards at 15 kph with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph, noted PAGASA.

"Owing to favorable conditions, this storm may reach typhoon category by tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and reach its peak intensity (130-155 km/h) tomorrow afternoon or evening," PAGASA further said in its bulletin.

PAGASA expects "Ulysses" to be already moving westwards on Wednesday and outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Saturday. (PNA