|A view of Upper Makulapnit Dam. Photo: LAV|
|Team of engineer and geologists from DENR, EMB, MGB and PENRO accompanied by Cong. Velasco on their way to the dam site. Photo: LAV|
|Entrance to the Makulapnit Diversion Tunnel. Photo: LAV|
Last Jan. 23, 2017, Cong. Lord Allan Jay Velasco and a team of engineers and geologists from the DENR conducted a site inspection to verify reports of a leak in the Makulapnit Dam in the MARCOPPER site. The findings of the team is that the leak is manageable and springs freshwater coming from Upper Makulapnit and not mine tailings as originally feared.
The DENR's recommended action to address this issue is to replace the valve that is leaking/plug the hole and the leak would be ok. Also, even if the valve bursts, it won't be disastrous to the towns downstream, which may be considered as good news to our province.
|Screenshot of water gushing from an apparently busted valve (??) inside the tunnel. Photo: LAV.|
|Inside the tunnel. Photo: LAV|
|Another leak inside the tunnel. Photo: LAV|
|Makulapnit River upstream. Photo: LAV|
However, what we should really look out for which may pose a threat to life and property to our kababayans is the Maguilaguila spillway tunnel, which, last November 2016, Cong. Lord Velasco conducted an ocular inspection and found the tunnel half full of siltation. The DENR said during that time that if the tunnel is filled up with siltation, that will pose a serious threat because with the closing of the spillway, the water will look for other outlets and with the pressure build-up force its way through the existing structures and might cause damage to the dams or its breakage.
The DENR team continues to monitor the structural integrity of the Marcopper dams as of posting and shall present their report and recommendations to Cong. Lord Velasco within the next week. Cong. Lord Velasco is coordinating with the concerned agencies to secure the structural integrity of the dams at the Marcopper site and prevent a re-occurrence of the damage that the mines have brought to our Province of Marinduque.