NO TO JALAUR MEGA DAM PROJECT
“When NIA declared dam structure can only be destroyed by something like the 9/11 terrorist attack, I almost fell on the floor. The arrogance of the statement and the sheer lunacy of the proponents is beyond me.”
ILOILO City, Philippines – The Jalaur River for the People Movement (JRPM) lambasted dam proponent’s statement that “only terror attacks can destroy mega dam” as arrogant.
“When NIA declared dam structure can only be destroyed by the 9/11 terrorist attack, I almost fell on the floor. The arrogance of the statement and the sheer lunacy of the proponents is unimaginable,” the group’s spokesperson Mary Grace Lobaton said.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) boasted last week in their press statement that “only a terrorist attack in a scale similar to the one that destroyed the World Trade Center in the US on September 11, 2001 can make the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II (JRMP-II) collapse.”
“Have they not read and learned from history? The “unsinkable” Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg! The builders then were so enthusiastic that they have built the only unsinkable ship in the whole world and in its maiden voyage, they were proved otherwise,” Lobaton said.
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage carrying 2,224 passengers and crew from Southampton, UK to New York City, USA. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of more than 1,500 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.*
“Another disaster was the Vaiont (Vajont) Dam in Italy, one of the tallest in the world, that created massive landslides that produced waves overtopping the reservoir by more than 100 meters causing a flashflood in the downstream town of Longarone, drowning 2,000 inhabitants within a handful of minutes,” Lobaton added.
At 261.6 m (862 ft) in height, the thin concrete arch Vajont Dam, on the Vajont River in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia a few dozen metres above its border with Veneto, was the tallest dam in the world at the time of its completion in 1959. Despite opposition from the local residents and findings of separate studies of the dam’s reservoir being unstable and liable collapse should the reservoir be filled, the contractor still proceeded.**
“We don’t want these disasters to happen to our indigenous peoples and the entire Ilonggos. Previous studies have already showed that the area where the dam is to be built has questionable integrity. But NIA is so omniscient, denied all allegations and proceeded without caution,” Lobaton added.
In September 2012, three scientists – a geologist, a botanist and a physicist – from the Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), in their Environmental Investigation Mission (EIM) found faults along the Jalaur River at the site of the dam main reservoir.
“There were mass wastings, rockfalls and soil erosions – as indicated by the presence of talus and daylighting joints, rockfalls and landslides – and faults in the area showing unstable foundation and questionable integrity of the dam sites,” said Adong Fernandez, a registered geologist and a graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.
JRPM, an advocacy alliance for the protection and promotion of the Jalaur River as a life source of the people, is composed of the indigenous group TUMANDUK, farmers groups, church leaders and different religious denominations, students and professionals, militant organizations and other civil society organizations (CSOs) in Panay.
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Reference: Mary Grace Lobaton
Spokesperson, Jalaur River for the People Movement (JRPM)
Contact No.: (+63) 0906 686 9999