Release of water via spillways does not mean dams have been damaged

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21 June 18 - There are more than 230 dams across the country, which are managed by the Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department. Of these, the water level in 32 dams exceeded their full tank levels and overflowed on 14 June due to heavy rain falls brought by low-pressure weather depressions. The overflow water in these dams goes through spillways into the rivers. In the rainy season, all dams nationwide are monitored by staff around the clock

Officials of the dams release water to prevent damage to these irrigation facilities due to increasing levels of water caused by torrential rains. Officials are monitoring water levels at dams in Kayin State, Sagaing Region, Bago Region, Magway Region, Rakhine State, Yangon, and Ayeyawady regions.

While the officials are monitoring the situation, locals have been evacuated to safe havens to minimise any risk to life and property. Engineers continually inspect the condition of the dams and they also stockpile emergency materials in order to be able to carry out preparedness in timely manner, if necessary. Machinery and labourers are arranged to be ready to quickly respond to any damage to dams. 

When a dam drains out water from its spillway, an alert is made on radio, television and via social media through smartphones. The release of water does not mean the damage of dam. The dams were constructed after carrying out a feasibility survey, ground survey, and geological and hydrological and meteorological studies. Hence, the dams across the country can resist floods and natural disasters. 

Dams across the world, including Myanmar, actually help control devastating floods. They also help prevent the loss of life and property caused by flooding. Flood control dams impound floodwaters and then either release them under control to the river or store or divert the water for other uses. But now the rainy season is approaching, and we should be expecting heavy rainfall, lightning strikes, flash floods, and landslides, which are not new to our country. 

Let us make sure that these inconveniences do not become disasters. Preparedness remains the best weapon against the worsening climate conditions. Those living in flood-prone areas must be quick to vacate their homes when the need arises and should by now be well acquainted with the flood drill. It's the season.

Keep a close watch on weather updates and warnings during the rainy season. People are urged not to believe any rumours when floods hit their areas. It is wrong understanding of the people that dams release water due to the damages at dams.

​Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

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