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MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 3 - 10:19 a.m.) The Ipo and Bustos Dams in Bulacan began releasing water early Monday after reaching critical levels due to strong, incessant rains spawned by tropical storm "Gener" even as the Marikina River was placed under second alarm.
Two gates of the Ipo Dam were opened as of 3 a.m. but by 7:35 a.m., only one gate remained open, spilling 30 cm of water after the water level descended to 100.49 meters after reaching spilling levels earlier, Office of Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said.
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said "Ipo Dam management has reported that (an) additional gate was opened making the total gate opening for Ipo Dam ... 0.80 meters (with 2 gates opened at 0.50 and 0.30 m), with (a) total discharge of 135.30 cms."
Two gates of the Bustos Dam were also opened to release 150 cm of water as of 5 a.m., the NDRRMC said.
Ipo Dam first opened its Gate B at 1:50 a.m., releasing 47.9 cm as the water reached the spilling level of 100.82 meters.
The water released from the Ipo Dam is expected to affect low-lying areas along the Angat River from Norzagaray to Hagonoy.
Ramos said residents living near the Tullahan River should remain alert for possible evacuation.
Marikina Vice Mayor Joel Cadiz said that the Marikina River's water level had reached 16.4 meters by 8:59 a.m., necessitating the raising of the second alarm. This means residents near the waterway should prepare for evacuation.
As of 7:30 am, 652 individuals or 118 families had been evacuated to Bulelak Gym and as of 9:13 am, 156 individuals or 38 families were evacuated to Malanday Elementary School.
Meanwhile, Radyo Singko reported that the Imus-Aguinaldo highway in Cavite is passable only to buses.
Hundreds affected by storm
Storm "Gener" spawned heavy rains and strong winds, forcing the evacuation of close to 1,300 persons in five provinces, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
In its 2 a.m. report, the NDRRMC said a total of 1,293 persons or 310 families were evacuated while over 11,000 persons more were affected from rains and floods. Affected persons were from five provinces in Central Luzon, Mimaropa and Western Visayas regions.
In Hinobaan in southern Negros Occidental, at least 140 houses in seven villages were damaged by floods, the NDRRMC reported.
In Bago City, Negros Occidental, some 120 families were affected by flooding in barangay Binubuhan.
"Gener" also closed down six roads and five bridges in Cordillera, Palawan and Occidental Mindoro. (with a report from Maricel Halili, News5)