Power, communications restoration underway in Ompong-hit Cagayan

CAGAYAN, Philippines – Government officials and private companies said efforts to restore power and communications in the province of Cagayan are now ongoing.

In a press briefing in Cagayan on Sunday, September 16, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said power providers and distributors are assessing the damage to transmission and distribution lines affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).

Cusi said it is still uncertain when electricity will be restored as reports of distribution and transmission utilities have yet to be completed.

"[In] Cagayan, area and foot patrol surveys are ongoing at the moment," he added.

Cusi also said no power plant was damaged by the typhoon, so they are focused on the quick restoration of electricity.

"Hindi lang po tayo makapag-energize ng maaga dahil concerned lang po tayo sa safety ng mga nagtratrabaho...at mga mamamayan din po...dahil po sa naputol na linya," he said.

(We cannot energize early because we're concerned about the safety of our workers and the residents, as there might be broken power lines in their area.)

For Tuguegarao City, Mayor Jefferson Soriano said it may take 6 days to fully restore electricity. Some areas, he said, will have theirs restored earlier.

Meanwhile, National Telecommunications Commission Chairman Gamaliel Cordoba said about 12% of telecommunications services have been restored in the province.

He said internet connection outages were a result of broken channels like poles and bridges.

According to Cordoba, telcos estimated it would take them around 2 to 3 days to complete restoration work in Cagayan. – Rappler.com