Blackout hits Siargao as squall topples 4 poles

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 16 December) — Power supply has yet to be restored on this island, Caraga region’s tourism hub, since Sunday night after strong winds toppled four electricity poles.

Sergio Dagooc, Siargao Islands Electric Cooperative Incorporated general manager, told MindaNews in a text message Monday morning that the poles were toppled in Barangay Sering, Socorro town at around 8:30 pm Sunday by a squall, a sudden violent gust of wind or a localized storm, especially one bringing rain.

He said that technicians were having difficulty fixing the damaged electric poles due to their steep and remote locations.

Dagooc said eight towns in Siargao Islands have been affected by the power disruption.

He could not say when power would be restored, but noted that electricians have been working around-the-clock to repair the damaged poles despite the inclement weather.

Dagooc appealed for understanding from the public.

Several tourists in Siargao Island have complained on the inconvenience brought by the power outage.

Some accommodations that have no power generator sets were forced to book their guests to other resorts that have their own generators.Several small eateries and restaurants were seen rushing to buy ice to preserve their perishable stocks.

As of 4 p.m Monday, the island remained without electricity.

In December 2013, power consumers in Surigao del Norte, parts of Surigao del Sur and portion of Agusan del Norte also endured a blackout for a couple of days after two transmission towers of the National Grid Power Corporation (NGCP) in Balang Balang, Agusan del Norte were toppled by landslides caused by incessant rains.

The following year, power consumers in the area also celebrated New Year’s Day without electricity after three transmission towers of NGCP were wiped out by raging floodwaters in Alegria town in Surigao del Norte.   (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)