Chalillo, Vaca and Mollejon are safe during rains

Chalillo, Vaca and Mollejon are safe during rains

Another area of concern is the dams, which are operated by Fortis Belize. We are referring to the Chalillo, Vaca and Mollejon Dams, which are on the Macal River, a body of water that has seen an increase in levels throughout the extended weekend. Oscar Alonzo, the company’s environmental safety officer discussed the situation with Love News. 

Oscar Alonzo, Fortis Belize: “As many of you may have read in the release all three of Forits Belize’s dams have been spilling since late last night into early this morning so that’s sending some more water down stream that will eventually reach or has already begun to reach down stream communities. It was built for storage for the other two dams that are located downstream of Chalio namely the Mollojon and the Vaca dams. So like I said all three dams have been spilling since late last night into early this morning. Everything is normal at all the dams. We are generating at full capacity because of the spill conditions but like I said everything is normal. The dams are designed to withstand these types of floods. You had in fact even worse floods than this in the past few years and the dams have performed as designed so we’re not expecting anything out of the normal, we’re not experiencing anything out of the normal right now but of course as the flood waters keep coming down from upstream then the dams have now been filled to capacity and are spilling over via the built in spillways that have been designed for this exact purpose.”

Alonzo reiterated Fortis’s position that the dams remain intact and the dams’ safety mechanisms have kicked in to ensure that no one is affected by the dams’ activities during this weather event. 

Oscar Alonzo, Fortis Belize: “It’s understandable that resident might have some concerns in their minds as to the stability of the dams when we have these large flooding events and so on but they can rest assured the dam was built with all the proper engineering. The dam we have a multitude of instruments installed inside the dam that measure the pressure of the water under the foundation and within the structure of the dam and the dam has also been designed to alleviate this pressure when we have large flooding events the dam is actually designed for water to seep through and exit the other side of the dam harmlesslessy. But nevertheless we have an array of instruments inside the dam that are continuously monitoring these pressures inside the foundation and the structure of the dams so these instruments monitor continuously 24/7 and they relay the information back to our data logger equipment which can then be accessed by our technicians and supervisors who are either at the power plants or even out here in San Ignacio since it’s cloud based and we are able to access it from anywhere we are. So we have been constantly monitoring the damns since the rains have started and so if there should be any cause for concern the public can rest assured that we will be able to pick up on this long before it can really become an emergency situation.”

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