Lightning causes 5-hour blackout in parts of Visayas
CEBU CITY–A lightning that struck the transmission and distribution lines in Cebu caused a massive power outage in many areas in the Visayas late Friday, according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Maria Rosette “Betty” Martinez, NGCP Visayas corporate communications and public affairs lead specialist information officer, said the power in all parts of the Visayas normalized past 5 a.m. on Saturday, about 5 hours after power went off at 11:56 p.m. on Friday.
“Initial finding points to a lightning strike that caused the simultaneous tripping of the Colon, (Naga)-Cebu lines 1, 2, and 3 and the Colon-Quiot line which triggered the power interruption,” she said in a statement sent to the Inquirer on Saturday.
Gradual restoration of power transmission services started in Cebu at 12:52 a.m. while the last feeder energized in Leyte-Samar was at 5:46 a.m., and in Bohol at 5:48 a.m.
“NGCP is still working on the restoration of loads associated with electric cooperative Leyeco V (Leyte Electric Cooperative Incorporated),” Martinez said.
NGCP, she said, was expediting the re-energization of its Isabel substation which serves parts of Leyte under Leyeco V.
According to the NGCP, the unscheduled power interruption affected parts of Cebu, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol.
The NGCP is a privately owned transmission service provider in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid.
The Visayan Electric Company (Veco), in an advisory posted on its social media account, said only three towns under its franchise were not affected by the blackout: Minglanilla, City of Naga, and San Fernando—all in the southern part of Cebu.
Veco, the second largest electric utility in the Philippines, serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu – Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.
At 3 a.m., Veco said that power at the government-owned Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, as well as parts of Mandaue City and Consolacion town had been restored.
At 4:56 a.m., Veco announced that power was also restored within its franchise areas.
In Bohol, most residents were already asleep when the power went out.
Many Boholanos, however, went to social media to vent their frustration.
In Leyte, power consumers also expressed disgust over the unscheduled power interruption.
“How can I put my baby to sleep with no power?” said one consumer who posted her message on the social media account of the Leyeco II which serves around 70,000 consumers in Tacloban City and the towns of Palo and Babatngon.
Another consumer pleaded for the immediate restoration of power, saying her daughter has to finish her online assignment. Reports form Ador Vincent Mayol, Leo Udtohan, Dale Israel, and Joey Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas
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