April 17, 2021

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170 families in Juana Díaz are alerted to a possible situation with the Guayabal dam

The torrential rains caused by the tropical storm Laura filled Lake Guayabal to capacity in Juana Díaz, a situation that could endanger some 170 families in the Arús and Manzanilla neighborhoods .

This, since if the precipitation continues during the night, the floodgates of the dam would open automatically affecting these sectors, as well as other communities and farms located on the PR-1 highway.

In the event of a possible emergency, the mayor Ramón Hernández Torres was mobilized to the area together with personnel from the Office of Emergency Management and the Municipal Police, to alert the residents who, if the expected happened, would have two to three hours to mobilize before the water hit.

"The lake is at its maximum capacity of 341.20 and there are three gates tearing, as the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) says, that there is little water l or that it is releasing, but in the event that one of them opens four to five feet or two of them, because the situation becomes a little worrying, but it gives us two to three hours time to move people "revealed the municipal executive as he arrived at the sector.

“We are visiting the community so that they can take the corresponding measures. If the rain does not stop, then the lake will continue to accumulate water, Lake Guayabal and as a consequence that gate system opens automatically since there is no way to control it. So we have to be vigilant, we must be vigilant "he insisted.

Hernández Torres explained that the situation is the result of the large amount of sedimentation that Lake Guayabal has, which prevents the reservoir from losing the capacity to hold water and can cause damage downstream.

“The situation is that Lake Guayabal has 70% sedimentation, that is, it does not have much capacity to hold water. We have to take precautions because they are systems that open under pressure and from then on we must alert, we must work with the community, so that they know what is happening and that each one makes the determination to move or of course, once there is a floodgate with a wider opening, we always have two to three hours to play with the time when the water hit "he warned.

Request to the governor

On the other hand, the mayor Juanadino appealed to Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced to allocate some $ 80 million that PREPA needs for sediment removal work in the lake.

Likewise, Hernández Torres explained that today's atmospheric event left without electricity and drinking water service to several communities and urbanizations in that town.

“Until now we had without service to the La Fe, La Plena urbanization, part of La Cuarta, Guayabal, Rio Cañas Arriba and Singa pur. The water supply is also affected, for example, here in Cayabo and Collores some days the water comes and the next day they don't have it. This is how the people of Aguilita, Santa Rita 1, 2, 3 and 4 are living, and this is extremely critical ”he lamented.

However, despite the emergency, it has not received a response from the relevant agencies.

“I have a fight with the people of Aqueducts because one cannot really understand how it is possible to have officials in Communications that are well paid and that they are not kind enough to communicate with the media to tell them what is happening in the communities, about the reason for the lack of water and the reason for the lack of electricity ”, argued. [19659002] "One receives all these pressures, one transmits those messages, but I don't know where the communication device is. When you talk to them, they have to ask permission from a bureaucrat there in San Juan to authorize you to make expressions. Hey, the official is here and he's living the situation. Explain to the people what is happening ”, he concluded.

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