Friday, January 20, 2017

Is Marcopper's Makulapnit Dam ready to burst?


Army CAFGU  operatives and the persistent fountains of toxic water inside the tunnel in dramatic show. Not a question of 'if' but 'when'.

Who knows, after numerous and consistent denials* by the DENR-EMB maybe another one of Marcopper's perilous dams is really ready to burst this time - the Lower Makulapnit Dam. Ready to burst to create another disaster. It could be triggered by heavy rains or any storm event, or an earthquake striking where Marcopper is sitting and where an earthquake fault also demonically sits. 

Or maybe it would just happen without further warning as nature's way of delivering another message that has reverberated in every corner of this poor, old province of Marinduque for two decades: just stop the lies and be responsible enough to take action - set aside all corruptive ways for a while will you?

There are two earthen dams in the area of Makulapnit, still part of the Marcopper Mine - the Upper and the Lower Makulapnit Dam. The latter has been reported on many occasions in the past to be leaking, only to be denied by local environmental authorities particularly the EMB. Up to very recently under the new administration, this is still the situation - EMB denying that such a thing is occurring.

But now the dam has been photographed by Army CAFGU's stationed in the area to be leaking. This dam, one of five earthen dams of Marcopper is 230 meters above sea level with a catchment area of 1.5 sq.km.


A small stream at the southern Tapian pit flows into the Lower Makulapnit Dam. This is where greenish copper precipitation are spread and have been documented by USGS scientists who have clearly warned that it is another disaster just waiting to happen.

Today, Boac 's planning officer, Engr. Luna 'Pongkoy' Manrique who is in regular contact with the Army CAFGU's, who took the photographs called the DENR head office in Manila and emailed the photos. 

Manrique posted the following text message he received today in response from DENR:


The team will arrive on monday headed by mgb, emb and denr penro. We are drafting a report now in which you are the source and is to be submitted to central office, we will provide the concerned copy of thesame including the composite team for marcopper issue headed by usec teh.FYI


Inside Makulapnit Dam. Water squirting out from under.

Following are earlier posts from Manrique today:


Toxic water gushing out continually from busted pipes? This episode looks more horrific than the early seepage that affected the Tapian Pit a few months before the tailing spill of 1996.

Our Army CAFGUs bravely entered the inner most part of the tunnel just to give us the true picture of the situation, and eat lunch with only sardines and rice. This is the very reason why we always support them.



This is the first time that people of Marinduque have ever heard of such a 'Makulapnit Dam Tunnel'. Does DENR even know about it after decades of 'monitoring'? You bet they don't.

MAKULAPNIT DAM TUNNEL STABILITY
Water can affect the stability and the deformations of a tunnel by reducing the effective stress and thus the resistance to shearing, and by generating seepage forces towards the excavation boundaries.Our Army CAFGUs during their Environmental Patrolling in their text message had observed the leakage of water inside the Makulapnit Dam Tunnel. After immediately informing the Mayor, I called up the PENRO to look into it as I had requested our CAFGUs to send another team to take pictures. The PENRO on the other hand had also sent their team to inspect the site for their technical report and recommendation.(pictures taken by the operating CAFGUs)




Above photos courtesy of: Pongkoy Rey Sarmiento Manrique.


Excerpts from an earlier post in this blog.

Lower Makulapnit Dam. Mula sa Google

Dalawang dam mayroon sa lugar ng Makulapnit.

Ang Lower Makulapnit Dam ay isa pa ring siltation dam ng Marcopper.

May tantiyang taas na 230 meters above sea level at may catchment area na 1.5 sq. km.

May sapa sa south Tapian kung saan sumasama rin ang tubig na galing sa Makulapnit Dam at kung saan naman laganap ang copper precipitation na kulay green.

Upper Makulapnit Dam (Reservoir). Photo: Luna "Pongkoy" Manrique

Ang Upper Makulapnit Dam naman ay ginawa noong 1975 para ikulong ang tubig na nagmumula sa Makulapnit River upang pagkunan ng water supply para sa operasyon ng Marcopper. Katulad ng lahat ng dams ng Marcopper ito rin ay napabayaan na.

Ayon sa pag-aaral ng Klohn-Crippen (2001), hindi papasa sa accepted criteria ang dam na ito sa stability analysis at ang spillway nito ay wala raw sapat na kakayahan sakaling magkaroon ng maximum flooding dala ng major storm events.

Kapag gumuho ang istruktura ay malalagay sa panganib ang buhay o kaligtasan ng mga tao sa ibaba ng ilog. 34 million cubic meters na tubig at silt ang dala.



(*In 2011 DENR-EMB admitted the danger poised by the collapsed Maguilaguila Siltation Dam in Mogpog, acknowledging that the dam's catchment reservoir is heavily silted by bed-load minerals and may contribute to another imminent collapse. Still no remedial measures have been undertaken. In the case of Makulapnit Dam that was identified by USGS in 2012 as another dam in danger of collapse, the existence of leaks reported after the said study have been consistently denied by DENR-EMB).

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