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Angat’s water to hit below minimum level in June

MANILA, Philippines — The water elevation in Angat Dam dropped to 200.05 meters yesterday and may go down below its minimum operating level of 180 meters in June due to the El Niño phenomenon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 6 a.m. yesterday, Angat’s water was down by .11 meters from its previous level of 200.16 meters.

The elevation was 11.95 meters below the dam’s normal high water level of 212 meters, although still 20.05 meters above its minimum operating level.

PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orindain said that by the end of April, Angat’s water would decrease to 189 meters, and to 182.73 meters in May, which is lower than the dam’s rule curve.

Orindain said this forecast in the water elevation of Angat was based on a previous pronouncement of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) that it would cut the water allocation for Metro Manila to 48 cubic meters per second in April from the current 50 cms this month.

“In May, the NWRB will further lessen the allocation… our computation will change once the water allocation (for domestic use) decreases,” Orindain said.

He noted that the water level in Angat is still high compared to the same period in previous years.

“It usually drops to 180 (meters) or below during the month of May… but now it is still high as we started in January with a high water level due to rainfall in December,” Orindain said.

The water level reached 212 meters in January.

PAGASA senior weather specialist Rosalie Pagulayan urged the public to keep conserving water to maintain the elevation in Angat Dam.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on El Niño has ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to ensure fire safety in hospitals and public health facilities.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, chief of the task force, said the BFP must ensure a safe environment for everyone, especially those seeking medical services as well as healthcare workers.

Capt. Umar Aduca, who represented the BFP during the meeting of the task force, said he would convey Teodoro’s directive to Interior and Local overnment Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.