As an aftermath of severe storm Quinta’s devastation, massive swath in 15 provinces groped in the dark due to power outages caused by damages in various power facilities.
According to the Department of Energy, the estimated cost of damage to the power facilities of the electric cooperatives (ECs) had been placed at P1.112 billion.
In the franchise area of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) that had been affected by the extreme weather condition, the energy department reported that 356,996 customers experienced electricity service snaps.
In a report by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), it stated that at least 23 electric cooperatives (ECs) suffered varying degrees of interruptions in their electricity service to customers.
The provinces which agonized over blackouts due to the weather disturbance include: Cagayan, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes and Aklan.
According to NEA, worst hit areas have been Batangas and the Bicol region, with many jurisdictions reporting “total loss of power due to the unavailability of transmission services from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.”
Several electric cooperatives servicing off-grid domains were also impeded by utter power loss – primarily those in Ticao Island, Busuanga, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.
Meanwhile, the ECs that had been racked with service interruptions were those in: Batangas, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Lubang Island, Busuanga, Camarines Sur, Ticao Island, Sorsogon, Albay, Laguna, Cagayan, Quezon, Tablas Island, Romblon, Masbate, Catanduanes and Aklan.
On the restoration of power service to consumers, NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said “our electric cooperatives have already dispatched teams to assess the damage caused by typhoon Quinta to their distribution facilities and to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.”
As of press time, both NEA and the DOE cannot give definitive commitments on when electricity service can be fully brought back to the areas wrecked by the typhoon.
Given the scale of repair and service restoration to be done, Masongsong is appealing to all consumers affected “for their patience as our electric cooperatives work to address these outages.”
And as a matter of precaution, the NEA chief advised the public “to stay away from downed power lines to avoid accidents, and to immediately report these to their electric cooperatives.”
As of yesterday, system operator NGCP indicated that several of its transmission facilities had been downed by the calamity and were unavailable, including its: Hermosa-Floridablanca line in north Luzon; Batangas-Mabini line, Batangas-Ibaan-Rosario line, Batangas-Bauan line, Bay-Calamba line, Pitogo-Mulanay line, Naga-Libmanan line, Naga-Lagonoy line, Naga-Iriga line, Naga-Tinambac line, Tiwi-Malinao-Tabaco line, and Daraga-Sorsogon line in south Luzon.
The transmission firm also reported one of its 500-kilovolt and five 230-kV lines that have been rendered unavailable: the Naga-Tiwi A, Naga-Tiwi C, Daraga-Bacman Line 1 and 2, and Daraga-Tiwi lines. The initial transmission facilities it restored were the: Gumaca-Lopez-Tagkawayan, Daraga-Legaspi, Famy-Comon and Daraga-Ligao lines.
The company said it already mobilized line crews and they are “currently conducting aerial and ground patrols to assess the impact of the typhoon to expedite restoration of affected facilities.”