Cabatuan, Isabela—An aged water impounding dam in Barangay Namnama here has overflowed when heavy rains pounded the area on Saturday (November 28).
The flooding occurred after another onslaught of heavy rains in the region few days after Typhoon Ulysses displaced thousands of people and reportedly left 73 dead.
The waist-deep flood has destroyed houses, fishponds, and crops.
A video posted in social media by Jhoven Cabucoy Carig, a local resident, showed the flood’s damaging effect. The post has since then gained more than 36,000 views.
“There is no typhoon, just heavy rains. This is first time in history, there are houses here that could not reached by flood before,” Cabucoy said in Ilokano.
Residents are pointing the blame on National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) neglect.
A photo taken by this correspondent after the floods subsided shows that the steel floodgates are worn out and rusty, and debris blocked the flood gates.
“They could not open the gates when they need to release water, they are not maintaining it,” a fish pond owner near the dam complained as his Tilapia farm was inundated.
After Typhon Ulysses, NIA has denied failing to properly manage the release of water in the Magat Dam.
Macañao dam is under the jurisdiction of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), specifically its MARIIS field operations office based in Minante I, Cauayan City. It was built in the early 1970s and is a decade older than the big Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela which opened in 1982.
The irrigation impounding dam in Barangay Namnama diverts water from the Macañao Creek to the irrigation canals of NIA, irrigating a vast area of ricefields in Cabatuan town and Cauayan City.