Philippines: NIA-MRIIS asks gov't agencies, NGOs assistance to improve flood forecasting and warning system

Ramon, Isabela (17 September) -- The National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Irrigation System (NIA-MRIIS) has sought the help of concerned national government agencies and non-government organizations in the efficient and accurate flood forecasting and in giving warning to the affected localities downstream of the Magat river.

NIA-MARIIS management said that the agency lacks flood forecasting and warning system equipments or devices to promptly monitor the real water inflow to the Magat Dam.

Dam and Reservoir Division Chief Engr. Saturnino Tenedor said there are six rain gauge stations located in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao.

The rain gauge stations are flood forecasting devices used as instruments by NIA-MRIIS to estimate the volume of rainwater that will be impounded in the dam.

During typhoon that brings heavy rains, the NIA-MRIIS releases required volume of dam water to prevent dam destruction.

But before releasing water, NIA-MRIIS gives early warning to the residents through the broadcast media and the warning devices installed in the different municipalities of Isabela where the stretch of Magat River downstream is found.

Engr. Tenedor said there are fifteen warning stations used by NIA to prevent loss of lives damage to agricultural products and damage and loss of properties.

The warning devices are located in the municipalities of Ramon, San Mateo, Aurora, Cabatuan, Luna, Burgos, Reina Mercedes, Gamu and Naguilian.

But despite the presence of the flood forecasting and warning devices of NIA-MRIIS, the management said the equipments are not enough assurance to accurately forecast the status of water inflow and outflow.

"We still need more advanced flood forecasting equipments and warning devices to promptly give accurate forecasts," Engr. Tenedor said.

SN Aboitiz Power, Inc., which uses Magat dam waters to generate power, vowed to provide additional flood forecasting equipment.

Other regional line agencies, most of whom are members of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC), also promised to help in the information dissemination when there are flood forecasts released to prevent damages among the affected areas especially during calamities. (PIA Isabela)