Leyte quake triggers brownout in 8 Visayas provinces
TACLOBAN CITY – A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Leyte on Thursday afternoon, triggering brownouts in eight provinces in the Visayas.
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the tremor affected its Maasin-Ormoc line located in Barangay Tongonon, Ormoc City, Leyte.
While the 138-kV line serves the provinces of Bohol and Leyte, the trip off affected other provinces in the Visayas because of the power interconnection.
Affected were Cebu, Bohol and other provinces in Eastern Visayas – Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Biliran.
Betty Martinez, NGCP spokesperson, said the trip off occurred following the tremor which occurred at 4:03 p.m.
“If something abnormal is detected, the system automatically shuts down,” she explained.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake was tectonic in origin with the epicenter traced 8 km southwest of Jaro town in Leyte.
Brownout was reported in entire Eastern Visayas and Bohol as well as parts of Cebu.
“The 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Leyte affected power generators in the area and likewise affected power supply transmitted to the Visayas, thus the power interruptions being experienced within the VECO franchise at the moment,” said Quennie Bronze of Visayan Electric Company.
But power was fully restored at 5:01 p.m. in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and the towns of Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.
Virgilio Fortich Jr., manager of the Cebu Electric Cooperatives (Cebeco) 3, said power interruption was experienced in the towns of Asturias, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan and Balamban as well as Toledo City.
“The Toledo Power Company shut down as part of their system and protection protocol. After 15 minutes, power resumed,” he said.
Edna Legaspina, NGCP information officer, said they could not say when power would be restored in Eastern Visayas since they were still assessing if there were damage caused by the quake.
Children rushed out of the school buildings in Tacloban City Leyte when the tremor struck.
“They were obviously panicking. There was commotion as children all wanted to get out of their classrooms,” said Gina Esperas, mother of a Grade 4 pupil at the Rizal Central School in Tacloban.
Areas where intensity five experienced were Cebu City, Tacloban City and Palo (Leyte); while Tolosa (Leyte), Sagay City (Negros Occidental) and Burgos (Surigao Del Norte) experienced intensity four.
Intensity three was also recorded in Bogo City, northern Cebu and Calatrava (Negros Occidental). JE
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