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Storm knocks out power to over 4 million Meralco customers


THE NUMBER of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) customers that experienced power outages due to Severe Tropical Storm Paeng rose to 4.06 million, the power distributor said Sunday.  

In a statement, Meralco said  504,234 customers remain without power, mostly in Laguna and Cavite. The remainder are in parts of Batangas, Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, and Quezon.

“Our ground personnel and line crews are working round the clock to restore power the soonest possible time,” Meralco Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said the statement.

The number of affected power customers was the highest this year. The previous high was 1.23 million customers affected following the passage of Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) in September, Meralco said in a Viber message.

In a statement, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported to the Department of Energy that as of noon Sunday, 91 electric cooperatives (ECs) were affected by the storm.

The NEA said five of these ECs experienced total power interruption; 24 experienced partial interruption; 32 are back to normal operations, while 30 ECs have yet to report their status.

It said that affected ECs were based in Regions I, II, Cordillera Administrative Region, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VIII, X, Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The NEA reported an initial damage estimate of around P778,468 from Leyte V Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Province of Siquijor Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Meanwhile, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said restoration activities in areas affected by the storm are ongoing.

“NGCP mobilized a total of almost 600 personnel, or 73-line gangs, to expedite restoration works. Four choppers augmented foot patrols to expedite line inspections,” the grid operator said.

The NGCP said transmission lines in Aurora, parts of Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Quezon, and Batangas are still being restored.

“Restoration schedules for the remaining affected lines will be released (when) damage assessments come in. When possible, restoration works are done simultaneously with the line patrols,” it said.

Transmission lines in Camariñes Norte, Camariñes Sur, Albay, Laguna, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Antique, and Aklan have been restored, it said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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