power interruptions in the Philippines

Blackout hits parts of Visayas

Art Lubiano
Blackout hits parts of Visayas

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(3rd UPDATE) The entire Eastern Visayas, as well as Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Island, are affected by the hours-long power outage

Blackout hit several areas in the Visayas group of islands before midnight Saturday, August 21, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced in a Facebook post. 

The NGCP said the unscheduled power interruption, which started at  11:56 pm Friday, affected parts of Cebu and the entire Bohol in Central Visayas, and Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas.

However, a post by the Leyte Electric Cooperative Incorporated (LEYECO) said “the whole Region 8 is now experiencing blackout due to the damaged line of NGCP in Cebu.” Eastern Visayas is composed of six provinces: Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte.

Aside from confirming the blackout in Cebu and Bohol, LEYECO also said the Negros Island was also affected.

The Samar I Electric Cooperative Incorporated said in a Facebook announcement there was a “total shutdown in the entire islands of Samar and Leyte.”

The Visayan Electric Company (VECO), in its own Facebook post, said their whole franchise area – which includes four cities and four municipalities in Cebu province – was affected.

“We apologize for the inconvenience. The whole of the Visayan Electric Franchise is experiencing a total blackout,” the post said, adding that its systems operations team was coordinating with the NGCP. 

An update from the company past 1 am said “only some parts of Minglanilla, Naga, and San Fernando [in Cebu province] in the Visayan Electric Franchise currently have power. The rest of the areas in the franchise have no power as of the moment.

Electricity was restored in other parts of Cebu City as of 3:12 am.

In its 5 am update, VECO announced that power was finally restored in the Visayan Electric Franchise.

Initial findings

The Cebu transmission line from Colon, Naga, to Quiot, Pardo, tripped causing a blackout in parts of the Visayas grid.

“Initial finding points a lightning strike caused the simultaneous tripping of the Colon-Cebu 138kV Lines 1, 2, and 3, and Colon-Quiot 138kV Line, which triggered the partial system blackout,” NGCP said.

NGCP said it is expediting the restoration of electric power for its substation in Isabel, Leyte.

In a statement on Saturday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he asked the NGCP “to provide the immediate remedy to this ‘system failure,’ to explain to its customers the reason for this, and to prevent this from happening again.”

He also called the attention of the Energy Regulatory Commission to look into the incident. – Rappler.com