LPA brings water levels of dams near critical level in AgSur

By Alexander Lopez

February 18, 2023, 2:29 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of NIA-13)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of NIA-13)

BUTUAN CITY – Water levels of dams in Agusan del Sur, particularly the Andanan-Wawa River Irrigation System in Bayugan City, are rising due to the trough of a low-pressure area (LPA) east of Mindanao.

In an advisory on Saturday, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 13 (Caraga) said that as of 7 a.m., the water level at the Andanan Dam was already at 36.5 meters or just 2 meters away from its critical level of 38.5 meters.

A 34.95-meter water level was also recorded at the Wawa Dam, which is only 2.05 meters away from reaching the critical level of 37 meters.

Similar situations were also reported by the NIA-13 at the Simulao River Irrigation System in Poblacion I, Trento, Agusan del Sur; in the Gibong River Irrigation System in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; and in Tago River Irrigation System in Barangay Sagbayan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

The LPA's trough continues to dampen most parts of Caraga on Saturday morning with rains and thunderstorms.

As of 3 a.m., the LPA was estimated at 285 km. east-southeast of Davao City.

The NIA-13 said it is working with the concerned local government units (LGUs) and other agencies regarding the current situation.

Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane Jr. warned the residents to be on alert due to the continued heavy rains that could trigger landslides and floods.

“The water level along Wawa Bridge in the town of Sibagat, Solibao Bridge in Rosario town, the Jumbo Bridge in Veruela, Agdawan Bridge in La Paz, and San Teodoro in Bunawan municipality are still in critical levels,” Cane said in a post in his Facebook account.

He advised residents living near the mountain slopes and those residing near or along the river systems, and the local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) councils to take precautionary measures.

At 11 p.m. on Friday, the entire Agusan del Sur was placed under Orange Heavy Rainfall Warning due to the LPA.

By Saturday morning, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Surigao del Sur were placed under Orange Heavy Rainfall Warning based on an advisory from the regional Office of Civil Defense.

In Butuan City, the City DRRM Office (CDRRMO) reported a landslide incident that took place in Purok 1B, Barangay De Oro on Saturday morning.

The landslide has affected a portion of the national highway connecting the city to Agusan del Sur town.

Some personnel of the CDRRMO, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the City Engineering Office were dispatched to the area for clearing operations.

Most of the major thoroughfares in the city were also hit by flooding, including the JC Aquino Avenue and a great portion of the diversion road.

No evacuations have so far been reported in the region.

DSWD readiness

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 13 said it has prepositioned its supplies of Family Food Packs (FPPs) in strategic areas amid the continuing threat of the LPA in the region.

In a statement Saturday, the DSWD-13 said it has PHP37,928,143.65 worth of FPPs and Non-Food Items ready for augmentation to requesting LGUs.

The FPPs are positioned in Agusan del Norte with 11,510 FFPs; in Agusan del Sur with 2,000 FFPs; and in Surigao del Sur with 2,669 FFPs.

Supplies of FFPs are already positioned in Surigao del Norte with 5,221 and in the Province of Dinagat Islands with 4,041.

The agency has a PHP5 million standby fund ready to be used when the need arises.

“The Field Office continues to coordinate with the LGUs to monitor the effects of the continued weather disturbances going on for days now,” the DSWD-13 said. (PNA)