NIA reports P20-million damage to irrigation facilities in Northern Luzon

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said the recent 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Luzon caused P20-million worth of damage to an irrigation canal and a satellite office.

The NIA said its central management called an immediate meeting with all department, regional and project managers to assess the damage caused by the earthquake on affected irrigation facilities.

Based on the agency’s initial assessment, the NIA said only the main canal of the Banaoang Pump Irrigation System in Region I incurred damages worth P15 million. The damage to the Banaoang Pump Irrigation System affected the irrigation service to about 2,000 hectares of agricultural lands, NIA added.

“In Pangasinan, no damages were recorded at the San Roque Dam based on the initial Report of Pangasinan IMO. For the provinces of La Union and Ilocos Norte, no major damages on irrigation infrastructure were recorded,” NIA said in a news statement on Thursday.

The NIA said it did not record any damages to other irrigation facilities that were vulnerable to the earthquake. However, the NIA added that its Abra Satellite Office was damage with an estimated cost of P5 million.

“The Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) in Kalinga and West Apayao Abulug Irrigation System (WAAIS) intake gates were closed for inspection of possible damages on canal embankment,” it said.

“Field Offices Calamity Task Force is monitoring the status of ongoing and existing infrastructures,” it added.

The NIA said the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS), which includes Magat Dam and its appurtenant structures, were undamaged and remained in good condition. However, the NIA noted that its personnel has not yet inspected drainage galleries of MARIIS due to concerns of aftershocks.

“Compared with previous readings, the earthquake has no significant impact on dam structure. Dam structure is in normal condition,” it said.

“For more thorough evaluation, MARIIS will be requesting experts from NIA Central Office for Joint Dam Safety Inspection and Evaluation,” it added.

Furthermore, the NIA said there is already an on-going assessment on the status of the dams, canal structures and office buildings in the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems.

“As per initial assessment, the earthquake in Abra did not affect the integrity of the Pantabangan Dam,” it said.

“Visual observations also showed that there were no major damages to the dam structures/embankment, building facilities, roadway, canal structures, and electro-mechanical components under UPRIIS Dam and Reservoir,” it added. -30-

Image credits: Nonie Reyes