NIA head says PH should learn from Oroville Dam problem
In an effort to learn from the experience of its counterpart in the United States, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is closely monitoring a potential disaster in California, following the damage to a spillway in the Oroville Dam.
NIA Administrator Peter Laviña said he has instructed the agency’s Engineering and Operations Department to follow the news on the dam problem, and learn lessons on how California engineers were addressing the problem.
The high levels of water, caused by heavy rains, have been blamed for Oroville dam’s spillway problem. The dam is located about 120 kilometers north of California's state capital Sacramento.
About 200,000 persons have been forced to evacuate following the noticed hole in the spillway of the dam, unleashing a wall of water threatening communities downstream.
Laviña recalled that, just last January 11, he ordered NIA to undertake a thorough inspection of its dams and other irrigation infrastructures to check on their structural integrity and safety following earthquakes and typhoons.
He called on the inspection to ensure the safety of the irrigation systems and communities near and around NIA facilities nationwide.
Laviña was in Cagayan de Oro recently to visit NIA projects in Region 10, including those in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, which may have been damaged in weeks of heavy rains and flooding.
He also ordered its personnel to ensure that NIA projects are disaster-resilient to prevent the recurrent restoration, repair, and rehabilitation of damaged irrigation facilities.