Lake Buhi, Lake Bato reach alarm level due to heavy rain

MANILA, Philippines – The water levels at Lake Buhi and Lake Bato in Camarines Sur reached alarm level on Saturday, December 29, due to heavy rain. 

In its 2 pm flood bulletin for the Bicol River basin, PAGASA placed Lake Buhi under alarm level, after the water level there reached 2.22 meters.

Lake Bato was also placed under alarm level, when the waters there reached 2.78 meters.

Six hours later, in its 8 pm bulletin, the lakes were still at alarm level, at 2.48 meters and 3.31 meters, respectively. 

Lake overflow is "still threatening" nearby areas, said PAGASA. The weather bureau noted the slow rise of water levels "which will continue until later midnight/tomorrow morning."

Low-lying areas in Buhi town and Iriga City are likely to be affected when Lake Buhi overflows, while low-lying areas in Bato and Nabua towns in Camarines Sur, and in Libon, Polangui, Oas, and Ligao City in Albay are likely to be affected when Lake Bato overflows. 

Meanwhile, river flooding has occurred in Sipocot River after it reached above critical level at 12.34 meters. It will persist for 5 to 6 hours, based on the 8 pm bulletin. PAGASA added that the waters are slowly receding, but it may slightly rise again in the next hours. Low-lying areas in Cabusao, Libmanan, and Sipocot are likely affected.

On Saturday morning, Tropical Depression Usman made landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar, then weakened into a low pressure area (LPA).

In its 4 pm advisory, PAGASA said the LPA, the tail-end of a cold front, and the northeast monsoon will all be bringing rain over the weekend. PAGASA advised all areas affected by these weather disturbances to stay on alert for flash floods and landslides.

Also in the 8 pm bulletin, different areas of the Bicol River are at alert level, as measured by its water level stations in Ombao, Camaligan, Balongay, and Calzada. River flooding is still possible.

The next flood bulletin for the Bicol River basin will be issued at 5 am on Sunday, December 30. – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com