(PNA file photo)  

MANILA – Magat Dam may conduct spilling operations again due to Tropical Depression (TD) Maring that will likely move over waters east of northern Luzon where the facility is.

The trough of "Maring" may bring to northern Luzon rainfall that could dangerously raise Magat's water to its normal high level of 193 meters, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration hydrologist Richard Orendain said on Friday.

"There is (a) possibility for Magat to release excess water again," Orendain said.

The spilling operation, he said, aims to prevent Magat's water from rising to the normal high so the dam could remain structurally safe.

According to PAGASA, Magat terminated its last spilling operation in December 2020 after releasing excess water due to rain from the tail-end of a frontal system and TD Vicky that month.

PAGASA said Magat Dam's 6 a.m. water level on Friday was at 188.81 meters, which is 4.19 meters lower than the normal high.

Orendain cited the need for precaution as Magat fills up easily.

Magat is a small dam that receives a lot of water from the big watershed where the facility is located, he said.

According to PAGASA, "Maring" was 495 km. east of Catarman municipality in the Visayas' Northern Samar province as of 10 a.m. Friday.

It was moving southwestwards at 15 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 70 kph.

PAGASA forecast light to moderate with at times heavy rainfall on Friday over the Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga regions, as well as Cebu and Bohol provinces in the Central Visayas region due to the trough of "Maring".

Data indicate "Maring" is moving erratically over waters east of the Visayas.

There is a possibility for it to consolidate and head north-northwestwards, reaching waters east of northern Luzon this weekend.

PAGASA is not discounting the possibility of "Maring" gradually intensifying to a tropical storm by Saturday and a severe tropical storm by October 11. (PNA)