BULACAN Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado on Wednesday said the province will file a class suit against officials of the national government agencies responsible for the massive release of waters from the three major dams – Angat, Ipo and Bustos – at the height of Typhoon Nona, inundating the surrounding areas.
The move has kept the coastal towns of Calumpit, Hagonoy, Paombong and Pulilan submerged in flood and dam water since last week.
He said lawyers are now preparing the charges against officials of the National Power Corporation, the National Irrigation Authority, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the National Water Resources Board for the irresponsible release of water from the dams in spite of the local government’s plea against it given the floods already induced by Nona.
“The floodwaters should have subsided last Sunday. But because of the dam officials who ignored our pleadings, most of the residents in Calumpit and Hagonoy would spend their Christmas under floodwater,” Alvardo said.
Angat dam released 900 cubic meters (cms) of water while Bustos dam released 400 cms of water that snakes through the already swollen Angat river that is aggravating the still rising back floods in Calumpit and Hagonoy.
Alvarado said that back in December 2011, the water level at Angat dam rose to 215 meters or three meters above its spilling level of 212 meters.
But he was able to request MWSS administrator Gerry Esquivel to hold big discharge of water to save the towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy from sinking at Christmas time, like what is happening now.
He added that Angat dam has a buffer limit of 217 meters and was able to hold 215 meters during that time.
As of Wednesday, more than 70,000 families from Calumpit, Hagonoy and parts of Paombong ang Pulilan are submerged in flood, which is now on its sixth straight days.
He said that if the recent typhoon did not hit the country, this agencies are set to conduct cloud seeding operations to replenish the dwindling water supply at the reservoir of Angat dam but instead of saving it they just let flow down and aggravates the flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy.
As of Wednesday more than 70,000 families from Calumpit, Hagonoy and parts of Paombong and Pulilan were still flooded, which is now on its sixth straight days.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said that as of Wednesday 23 of the 29 villages in Calumpit are still submerged under two to eight feet of water while 16 of the 24 villages in Hagonoy are below two to six feet of floods.