Under the heading “Earthquakes and dams,” Mon Ramirez, a University of the Philippines (UP) trained engineer, posted on the Facebook last Monday, March 14, 2011, at 5:26 p.m.: “We have no nuclear power plant but we have more than 30 hydro-power plants with their associated dams that supply most of our electricity in combination with some geothermal plants and fossil-powered plants.”
Can these dams withstand a Japan 3-11 earthquake and not crumble down and flood the communities downstream like a tsunami? Two years ago, during a storm, when San Roque dam had to suddenly release some water, the devastation and deaths in the Pangasinan were record high. The warning system did not work well, too, resulting in more deaths.
Maybe today is the best time for the government and engineers and scientists to take a truly hard look at these dams and review contingencies if there are any in place.