GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 December) – The power transmission grid in Mindanao remained intact in the aftermath of tropical storm “Sendong” (international name “Washi), which killed hundreds and devastated the northern part of the island, the grid’s operator said on Monday.
In an advisory, Milfrance Capulong, National Grid Corp of the Philippines-Mindanao corporate communications officer, said that major transmission lines of NGCP remained operational after Sendong battered Northern Mindanao.
“The major power transmission lines of NGCP (i.e. backbone lines of the power grid in Mindanao) have not been affected,” she said.
The storm made a landfall in Hinatuan, Surigao del Norte Friday afternoon, said the NGCP, the private operator of the country’s power transmission network.
On Saturday, there were two momentary faults, but these were immediately restored, the firm said.
NGCP remained in close communication with distribution utilities in Cagayan de Oro City and Bislig City to expedite and assist in restoration efforts, it noted.
Sendong’s wrath tremendously affected the Northern Mindanao cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, causing flashfloods that swept houses, and landslides in other areas as well.
As of 6 a.m. Monday (December 19), the death toll has climbed to 533, said Benito T. Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
He added that 309 persons remained missing, while 432 others have been rescued.
Sixty percent of power in Cagayan de Oro City was restored as of 5:17 Sunday,
Ramos said, adding that power interruptions also occurred in the cities of Iligan, Valencia and Ozamiz.
In Northern Mindanao, 85,601 individuals or 14,627 families in 88 villages were affected, the NDRRMC reported.
Meanwhile, calls to help the victims of typhoon Sendong have been gaining ground in Southwestern Mindanao from the public and private sectors.
In Cotabato City, the Oblate Missionary Foundation asked that cash, foods, clothes, bottled waters, books and other donations can be dropped at the Oblate Media Center at Sinsuat Avenue.
In Sarangani, Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez said the province will be sending P500,000 worth of rice to the victims of the floods in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
He also appealed to those who want to help donate blankets, used clothes, toothbrushes and others to drop them at the provincial capitol gymnasium in Alabel town until Wednesday noon.
Dominguez said that courier company Fast Cargo has volunteered to transport the donations for free.
In a related development, the Japanese government, through Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, on Sunday expressed sympathies to the many lives lost and serious damage caused by Sendong.
In a statement, the official said that Japan will “spare no effort in providing necessary assistance and cooperation for the rehabilitation of the affected people and areas.” (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)