More than 76 percent of the 2.3 million households in areas affected by Typhoon “Ompong” (international name : Mangkhut) had their electricity service restored as of Friday, said state-run National Electrification Administration (NEA).
Typhoon “Ompong,” considered the strongest typhoon to hit the country so far this year, had caused power outages in 19 provinces in Luzon, affecting 2,363,504 households within the coverage areas of 22 electric cooperatives (22 ECs), NEA said.
As of noon Friday, (September 21) NEA Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department (DRRM) reported that 1,800,024 households or 76.16 percent had their electricity restored while 563,480 remain without electricity.
The latest NEA report also showed majority of the areas with ongoing power restoration are located in the provinces of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Apayao,Benguet, Abra, and Isabela.
“All throughout the almost five decades of the agency’s existence, the NEA extends oversight, supervision and assistance to electric cooperatives.”
Meanwhile, “Ompong’s” estimated initial damage to the power distribution infrastructure has reached P208 million. The Cagayan I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cagelco I) sustained the highest amount of damage with P60.7 million followed by Cagelco II with P50 million.
Damage to the facilities of the Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) was pegged at P20 million, Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Beneco) at P19.2 million, Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (INEC) at P15.5 million.
PRRD Task Force
The restoration of electricity in Cagayan, one of the provinces hardest hit by the typhoon, is expected to speed-up following the NEA’s activation of the Power Restoration Rapid Deployment Task Force Ompong.
NEA Deputy Administrator for Technical Services, Engr. Artis Nikki Tortola reiterated the role of the agency in times of adverse weather occurrences similar to the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong on the assets of electricity distribution utilities in the provinces.
“All throughout the almost five decades of the agency’s existence, the NEA extends oversight, supervision and assistance to electric cooperatives. We were found to be indispensable in raising fallen EC assets by lending our expertise and enabling ECs financially to hasten the rehabilitation of their facilities, in the restoration of their services and regularly sharpening their preparedness and disaster response capabilities,” Tortola said.
The task force composed of lineworkers from 14 ECs in Central Luzon was dispatched Thursday, September 20, to Cagayan to help restore power as quickly and as safely as possible in areas covered by Cagelco I and II.
Based on NEA DRRM’s monitoring report, there are 90,773 homes to be energized under Cagelco I’s coverage area while 126,794 homes under Cagelco II’s coverage area as of Friday, September 21.
Reynaldo Villanueva, president of the Central Luzon Electric Cooperatives Association (CLECA), said more electric cooperatives from other regions will be joining the task force in the coming days.
Villanueva also said the move was in response to NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong’s call to assist fellow ECs in efforts to bring the lights back on in areas that are still without power.
The task force, equipped with utility vehicles and boom trucks, will assist Cagelco I and II for 30 days in repairing and rebuilding the power distribution infrastructure damaged by the typhoon.
They will be supervised by the NEA engineers headed by Engr. Gerardo G. Pomoy (Acting Manager of Emergency Restoration Plan Division) and Engr. Enrico G. Velgado(Acting Manager of Vulnerability Risk Assessment Division).