‘Seniang’ causes blackouts in 3 provinces in Caraga

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/30 December) – Tropical storm Seniang toppled a transmission line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines causing power outage in three provinces of Caraga Region.

The outage started around 7:00 a.m. Monday after a flash flood caused a steel tower of NGCP in Barangay Balangbalang in Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) town in Agusan del Norte to collapse.

Seniang, the last storm to hit the country this year, made landfall over Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur at around 3:45 a.m. Monday.

An advisory sent to MindaNews 1:30 p.m. Tuesday by Engr. Sergio Dagooc, general manger of Siargao Electric Cooperative and Dinagat Electric Cooperative said power is yet to be restored in Surigao del Norte including Surigao City, several towns in Surigao del Sur and a large part of Agusan del Norte.

“Responders could not immediately repair the damaged tower yesterday because of the strong current of the water and there were several roads in that area that are not passable,” Dagooc said.

Quoting an NGCP advisory, Dagooc said it was not possible to restore power Tuesday due to the volume of work needed to replace the damaged tower.

“Affected places are Surigao City including 20 towns of Surigao del Norte. Five towns in Surigao del Sur such as Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza,” he said.

He said the towns of RTR, Tubay and Jabonga, Cabadbaran City and Butuan City in Agusan del Norte were also affected.

Meanwhile, in Surigao City, the skies have cleared and trips going to different islands have resumed Tuesday, according to Geoffrey Gervo, station commander of Philippine Coast Guard-Surigao.

At least 824 passengers and 111 rolling cargoes and vehicles were stranded in two seaports in Surigao City since yesterday until late morning Tuesday.

The city government and provincial government of Surigao del Norte gave free meals to the stranded passengers.

On Monday, 202 families sought refuge in different evacuation centers in Surigao City, according to Annette Villaces, the city information officer who also serves as secretary to the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

No casualty was reported in Surigao City as Seniang exited Mindanao. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)

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