Akelco restores 85% electricity in Aklan, northern Antique 3 weeks after Ursula

AKLAN, Philippines – The local electric cooperative here reported roughly 85% of households and establishments were already energized, 3 weeks after Typhoon Ursula (Phamfone) devastated the province of Aklan and northern Antique.

Citing a report of Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco), power restoration stood at 122,194 billed electric consumers out of 146,629 as of Wednesday, January 15.

Akelco assistant general manager Joel Martinez said 21 task force teams were stepping up to immediately restore power in damaged communities in Aklan, particularly the towns of Pandan and Libertad in Antique and Damayan (Sapian, Capiz).

Martinez said Task Force Kapatid teams were dispatched in some parts of Ibajay, Nabas, Balete, Banga, Malinao, Buruanga, Malay and New Washington in Aklan, and portions of Pandan and Libertad, Antique to speed up restoration of electricity in the remaining 24,000 households.

Last December 25, Typhoon Ursula toppled 1,488 electric posts of Akelco, leaving more than 500,000 residents without power.

"Naiiba itong si Typhoon Ursula kumpara sa Typhoon Frank at Yolanda. Marami tayong nasirang poste sa mga barangay mula Altavas hanggang Boracay. Sapat ang ating mga poste at linya sa ganitong mga bagyo upang kaagad na marestore ang kuryente sa mga apektadong lugar," Martinez said.

(Typhoon Ursula is diffirent compared to Typhoons Frank and Yolanda. A lot of electric posts were toppled from barangays Altavas to Boracay. We have sufficient posts and electric cables for this kind of typhoons so we could immediately restore electricity in affected place.)

Martinez stressed the restoration and distribution lines rehabilitation would not be possible without the help of line workers from Cebu, Antique, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental, Bohol, Northern Negros, Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Power Restoration Deployment Task Force.

"Itong mga linemen ay nandito sa Aklan simula ng December 26 at hindi nakauwi sa kanilang mga pamilya dahil nais nila tayong matulungan at marehabilitate ang linya ng Akelco," he added.

(The linemen have been in Aklan since December 26 and they did not return home to their families because of their desire to help and rehabilitate Akelco.)

Martinez said Akelco is committed to achieve 100% power restoration in affected areas of Aklan and Antique this month.

"Kailangan natin ang tulong ng mga residente at opisyal ng nga barangay upang mapabilis ang restoration. Ipagpatuloy natin ang bayanihan spirit lalong lalo na sa mga sitio," he said.

(We need the help of residents and barangay officials to hasten the restoration. Let us continue with the bayanihan spirit, especially in the farthest sitios.)

As of January 15, the electric cooperative also reported an P138 million initial cost of damage. It is expected to rise as Akelco has yet to fully determined the extent of Typhoon Ursula's damage. – Rappler.com