Canal water levels too high
The Panama Canal Authority alerted the population living in the areas of Gatun and Alhajuela reservoirs that they may need to be evacuated.
The ACP alerted populations living in the areas surrounding the reservoirs to be attentive “to the sound of sirens indicating spill operations and an imminent need to evacuate especially in the communities of Guayabalito and Santa Rosa”.
In this event, people must leave the banks of the Chagres River immediately and move towards high areas, outside the floodplains.
The Gatún reservoir reached an elevation of 26.89 meters and the Alhajuela reservoir 76.98 meters at 11:00 am, Tuesday, November 20.
“The preventive spill operations are done to maintain the level of the reservoirs at safe elevations and avoid flooding in the areas of the locks, Canal facilities, and neighboring communities said an ACP press release.
The ACP said that it has response protocols for these situations, which are tested on a regular basis with communities and other entities.
According to the forecasts, the rains are expected to continue during the next few days over the area of the Canal watershed.
“Given the possibility of discharges, the Panama Canal reiterates its concern for people who have illegally occupied areas of risk identified by the Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), and that remain there despite repeated calls by the authorities to evacuate the area,” said the release.