SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) — Surigao del Norte and parts of Surigao del Sur had been without electricity since late Monday evening after Tropical Depression Auring made landfall in these provinces.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Auring destroyed several of its towers on Monday.
NGCP spokesperson Glory Reblanza told MindaNews on Monday afternoon that restoration work was ongoing but that it might last until Thursday due to continuous rains.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reported on Monday that four power utilities in Caraga Region were out — Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. that services Surigao City and 11 towns of Surigao del Norte; Siargao Electric Cooperative Inc. (eight towns in Siargao Island including the Island of Bucas Grande); Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative 1 (five towns); and Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative 2 (Tandag City and the rest of the towns of the province).
A landslide toppled one of the towers located in Barangay San Pedro in Alegria town, Surigao del Norte.
Several towns in Agusan del Norte had been without power too after Auring hit the province on Sunday evening.
Power came back only on Tuesday morning in the towns of Kitcharao, Jabongga, Tubay, RTR and Cabadbaran City after the affected tower in RTR was repaired.
On Monday evening, a portion of Barangay Taft particularly along the streets of Borromeo, Espina and Boulevard enjoyed four hours of electricity, according to Narciso Caliao Jr., general manager of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc..
Caliao said only three of their diesel-fired generating sets were functioning as the two others in Barangay Quezon ran out of fuel.
He explained on Tuesday afternoon that these modular generating sets were fully installed in 2015 but have not been allowed to go on commercial operation for lack of permits.
He said other villages in the city will be energized shortly.
The power outage annoyed several residents of Siargao Island and in Surigao City who expected the generating sets to energize the major power consumers.
But Veronika Janeckovano, a tourist in General Luna town in Siargao Island, was not complaining.
“No electricity and no water for days now. Yet, with the sun finally shining and smiling people around I feel privileged more than ever,” she said. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)