TUBIGON, Bohol – Engr. Virgilio Fortich, high ranking of the Bohol Electric Cooperative I, has denied allegation that the opening of Sevilla hydro power dam caused the massive flooding that put Loboc town downstream practically under water at the height of tropical storm Seniang days before 2014 ended. Fortich said in DyTR’s program last night that the management of the hydro power plant observed protocol in taking the breach of the dam’s tow gates to be able to release the water downstream.
He said even if the gates were not opened still the low-lying town proper of Loboc and neighboring areas would still be under water. Sevilla hydro power plant is capable of producing 2.5 megawatts. It is operated by the municipality of Sevilla and BOHECO I, he said.
Tropical storm “Seniang” left some 850 to 1,000 families in Loboc town adversely affected in at least 11 barangays situated just beside the river banks of this town, Mayor Helen Calipusan Alaba said earlier.
This came following the overflowing of Loboc riverbanks, disrupting river cruising activities, the town’s main tourism attraction. The officials said the agricultural crops are certainly affected due to flooding.
These barangays affected by the swelling of river are Agape, Camayaan, Canlasid, Ugpong, Valladolid, Pobalcion Ondol, Villaflor, Jimilian, Poblacion Sawang and Gotozon, Municipal Planning and Development Officer Domingo Villames said in interview.
In barangay Jimilian, for instance, vast of rice paddies recently planted has virtually transformed into a big lake as can be seen from the road coming from Sikatuna town since the highway via Loay town was rendered impassable. Children and old ones were already rescued while others remained in their homes under water that reach the ceiling of their houses.
Editha Varquez, a farm owner, said in separate interview that her rice farm that is recently planted was under water following the heavy downpour overnight in this barangay (Jimilian). She said she’s grateful to God that her family is safe.
The town proper where the earthquake-hit centuries-old church, municipal hall and town plaza and private houses are located were under water for hours until the water subside in the evening. (rvo)