100 workers at Mt. Apo Geothermal Plant feared stranded

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 31 Oct) – Around 100 workers of the Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant are feared to have been stranded in its premises in Barangay Ilomavis, Kidapawan City after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck Thursday morning.

The Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant in the hinterlands of Kidapawan CIty. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Lt. Col. Rey Alvarado, commanding officer of the Army 72nd Infantry Battalion, said over mobile phone that the workers could not leave the area when the lone road leading to the power plant was rendered impassable by fallen rocks and debris.

Government officials in the area interviewed by MindaNews apparently have no information on the fate of power plant employees.

“It was only discovered late Thursday afternoon when the bus for the night shift workers was blocked by boulders,” Alvarado said.

The plant, situated at the foot of the country’s highest peak, is 22 kilometers away from the Kidapawan poblacion area. Owned by the Energy Development Corporation, the power plant is capable of producing 106 megawatts of electricity.

Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista initially said the report on alleged stranded workers was “fake news” but when told Alvarado was the source, he said “we didn’t receive such report.”

Acting North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza told MindaNews at 6:30 p.m. that she had not received any report from the EDC on stranded workers.

MindaNews checked with Mendoza two hours later and was told she had just received word that road clearing operations will be done early Friday.

She also added that EDC has provisions for its workers, apparently referring to those who may have been stranded. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)