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MANILA, Philippines – The islands of Panay and Negros and 4 provinces in Visayas were plunged into darkness Friday, November 8 as monster winds brought by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) damaged power transmission lines.
In its latest advisory, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said the entire Samar, Bohol, Cebu and Leyte provinces, along with Panay and Negros islands, were cut off from the main power grid.
Yolanda, one of the world’s strongest typhoons ever, slammed into the Philippines Friday, triggering flash floods and ripping down buildings.
Explaining the unusual strength of the typhoon, the state weather bureau said Yolanda “island-hopped” as it made landfall 5 times. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country each year, but they normally make just one landfall after hitting landmass and slowly move away.
The super typhoon forced schools and offices in affected areas to close, airlines and ferries to cancel flights and trips.
NGCP spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza in a phone interview with Rappler said they were expecting hard-hit provinces to be disconnected from the grid.
“That’s normal during typhoons. Some facilities are damaged. It could be as minor as a tree branch falling on power lines, or something as big as a toppled tower,” she said.
Alabanza said damage to NGCP’s transmission facilities and facilities of power distribution utilities caused power loss in the affected areas.
Outside Visayas, other areas without electricity include:
- Municipality of Mulanay in Quezon
- Municipalities of Bulan, Gubat, Irosin in Sorsogon
- Portions of Zamboanga del Sur
As of now, NGCP said it is difficult to say when power will be restored in these areas since the extent of damage to power facilities has yet to be determined.
“We can’t say the nature and extent of the damage yet. We have to conduct aerial inspections,” Alabanza noted. – Cherrie Regalado, Rappler.com
Power line image via Shutterstock