power interruptions in the Philippines

NGCP tower in Lanao del Norte bombed

Merlyn Manos

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NGCP tower in Lanao del Norte bombed

BOMBED. A power transmission of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines is toppled down by crude bombs in Lanao del Norte on Monday, October 24.

Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Police Station

The incident leads to rolling blackouts across the Zamboanga Peninsula, as well as Misamis Occidental and parts of Lanao del Norte

ILIGAN, Philippines – Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental plunged into darkness after a still unidentified group bombed a National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) tower in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, on Monday, October 24.

It was the first recorded bombing of an NGCP tower in Mindanao this year.

Blackouts also hit parts of Lanao del Norte as a result.

The NGCP said the bombing tripped its Baloi-Aurora 138kV transmission line at around 4:40 pm, resulting in a manual load dropping to prevent overloading of the remaining line. 

Police said the bombers used improvised explosive devices to topple NGCP Tower No. 34. The NGCP, however, identified it as Tower No. 8.

Kauswagan police chief Major Exequiel Arcayena said a still unidentified man was found dead near the toppled NGCP tower in Sitio San Isidro in the village of Bagumbayan.

Police Staff Sergeant Jomar Maramara, a crime scene investigator, said the dead man could be one of the bombers.

In a statement, the NGCP said the bombing substantially reduced the supply of power to the entire Zamboanga Peninsula as well as Misamis Occidental in Northern Mindanao due to transmission difficulties.

The subsequent drop in the power load resulted in rolling blackouts across the region, Misamis Occidental, and some areas in Lanao del Norte dependent on the vital transmission line.

The supply of electricity in the cities of Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian, and Zamboanga was adversely affected.

Police and soldiers were sent to the area for clearing operations.

“[The] repair of Tower No. 8 will commence as soon as the area is secured. NGCP is currently coordinating with local law enforcement to secure the area as repairs are to be done by NGCP personnel,” read part of the NGCP statement.

An NGCP insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak for the company, said repairs had yet to be completed 24 hours after the tower was toppled down. – Rappler.com

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