TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The provincial administrator of Cagayan, also the concurrent chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) in this province, Lt. Col. Darwin Sacramed, has proposed a contingency plan in case of a possible Magat dam break.

Sacramed told The Manila Times that their office has reached out to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MARIIS) to come up with emergency measures against such possible break.

The OCD and the regional committee on dam safety immediately approved the crafting of the contingency plan.

In a virtual conference, the Cagayan PDRRMO chief suggested that the national government and concerned local government units (LGUs) look into the current status of the dam.

The NIA has reported that the Magat dam is reeling from 380 million cubic meters of silt or 40-50 percent of its total capacity.

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As the catch basin of Region 2, Cagayan province may be affected since water from upstream and water released from the dam travel down to low-lying areas.

"It's high time to craft a contingency plan in case the Magat dam breaks," Sacramed said.

Recently, the province was not spared by typhoon "Ulysses," which flooded many parts of the province, destroying P2 billion in agricultural products.

Edwin Viernes, acting head of Flood Forecasting and Instrumentation section of the NIA-MARIIS, Dam and Reservoir division, said advisories on the status of the dam will be released to the LGUs and media outlets.

Magat dam is 39 years old and was built in 1982 and started operating in 1983 during the administration of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.