VALENCIA CITY (MindaNews/28 Dec) – The National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR) Pulangi IV hydroelectric power plant and dam is in good condition, with no cracks, even with the flashfloods Tuesday morning owing to the overflow of rain water from upstream, plant manager Rudy Brioso told MindaNews Wednesday.
Brioso said he led a team who inspected the power plant and the reservoir Tuesday and found the power complex in “good condition” and that there was “no cause for worry.” He said the flashfloods, as far as the power complex is concerned, is “manageable” even as he warned residents in the river banks downstream to keep off the river.
But he said they have to open two out of the complex’s seven spill gates early morning to anticipate the flash floods even, stressing that it is standard procedure to avert damage to the power complex structure.
By 4 a.m., water level at the reservoir was at 284.35 meters, barely one meter below the maximum tolerable water level of 285.5. They opened the two spill gates by 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., about the time residents in Purok 5 and other villages along the Pulangi River banks noticed that water started to creep to their houses.
Brioso said when they saw the water level kept rising by 10 a.m., they decided to open the third gate. They then did “gradual” release of water and maintained the level at 285.2, or just a 0.3 meter allowance below maximum level.
He said they need the buffer just in case more flashfloods will come brought by the continuous rains upstream. He belied reports of the alleged collapse of the dam, saying the release of water is under control.
The 255-megawatt Pulangi IV hydroelectric power plant in Maramag, Bukidnon was temporarily shut down last April for repairs during the Holy Week.
The National Power Corporation announced on April 20 the maintenance and repair of three units of the power facility for cracks and leaks.
It announced that maintenance work would be done by April 23, ahead of the resumption of operations on April 25.
Engr. Jimmy Apostol, manager of the National Irrigation Administration in Bukidnon, admitted that it was their water siphon facility, which diverts water from the Pulangi River to irrigation canals, that was destroyed. He estimated about P50-million worth of irrigation tructures damaged, including the Lateral C canal and two spur dikes in Brgy. San Isidro.
He clarified that their Lumbayao diversion dam, which channels water from the Pulangi to another irrigation district upstream of the Pulangi is stable and functioning, contrary to earlier reports that that it collapsed.
He said it is stable and is function. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)