MANILA, Philippines -- Science Secretary Mario Montejo fears that tropical depression “Helen” may cause floods anew, especially since it can bring rains into the already full Angat dam in Bulacan.
In an interview with dzMM on Sunday, Montejo said: “Napakabigat ng sitwasyon…Ang Angat dam ay puno, ang lugar sa paligid nito ay baha. Tapos may darating na bagyo (The situation is grave. The Angat dam at this moment is full, and yet the areas around it are still flooded).”
The high water level at the dam last week, brought about by monsoon rains, has caused heavy flooding in downstream Bulacan and Pampanga.
At 5 p.m. today, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that the active low pressure area it has been monitoring has already developed into a tropical depression.
“Helen” was last spotted 750 kilometers East of Casiguran, Aurora and traversing a west northwest direction at 11 kilometers per hour.
The tropical depression is currently affecting the eastern part of Southern Luzon.
“Those affected by the monsoon rains last week may experience ‘Helen’ by Tuesday or Wednesday if the direction remains the same,” Montejo warned.
He added the tropical depression will bring light to moderate rains and its “main circulation” will not directly affect the country.
Still, PAGASA remains on the lookout since it could help pull the monsoon rains “while it is moving towards the north,” he said.
Nonstop monsoon rains left more than 80% of Metro Manila flooded last week, forcing millions out of their homes.