Philippine news: Millions without power in South — Millions of people in the southern Philippines have been left without power after a massive power breakdown on Thursday as repair crews try to determine the cause of the outage, say officials.
The power began to go down before dawn in heavily populated areas of Mindanao, where a quarter of the nation’s population of nearly 100 million reside.
“Reports indicate that the Mindanao grid experienced a disturbance at 3.53 am… (We are) still determining the cause and extent of the disturbance,” said a statement from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
The main southern island of Mindanao relies largely on hydroelectricity and has struggled for years with chronic power shortages.
The NGCP said the outage affected at least 12 of Mindanao’s key cities and provinces, though limited power was restored in some areas a few hours later, according to reports.
Repair crews were working to trace the cause of the interruption, said Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, and that he was confident power would be restored to all areas within the day.
“So far, there are no reports of damaged power plants,” Petilla told Manila’s DZBB radio. “They are ready to come back online to the grid, we just have to turn them (on) one by one.”
“We are trying to figure out where” the source of the outage was, he said, adding that the outage was most likely caused by a tripped transmission line.
An power shortage last year forced the NGCP to ration off electricity supplies in Mindanao, resulting in daily blackouts of up to 12 hours which damaged the local economy as it slowed production in factories.
Thursday’s power cuts hit residents just as they were getting ready for work.