MANILA - Million of residents in the National Capital Region will have to endure at least two or three days without power following the destruction brought about by tropical storm Basyang.

In a press briefing, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said it has only restored 27 percent of Metro Manila's power needs and 25.6 percent in the rest of Luzon grid.

NGCP spokesman and senior technical adviser Guillermo Redoblando said Metro Manila comprises 4,160 megawatts (MW) of the 5,540 MW power requirements for whole Luzon.

"We have restored around 1,700 megawatts of power in Luzon and repairs in the power lines connecting Malaya and Dolores power plants are still ongoing. This is a conservative timetable because we are still awaiting the completion of the assessment report," he said.

The NCGP, which is the operator of the country's transmission system, is also mulling to run the Sual power plant in Pangasinan to give additional 647 MW of power.

At 12:42 a.m. Wednesday, the NGCP declared a system-wide blackout in Luzon after Basyang, then a typhoon, downed transmission and power lines.

The largest power distributor in the country, on the other hand, said it is trying to fully restore power in its franchise areas.

"Restoration of power started at 3:24 am, after the strong winds of typhoon Basyang subsided. This came shortly after Kalayaan unit 4 was synchronized at 3:20 a.m.," the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said in a statement.

Meralco external communications head Joe Zaldarriaga said their crews have been working "round the clock" to bring back electricity as they clear the affected areas from toppled trees and billboards.

"However, we are also constrained in our restoration work as some transmission facilities were affected by the strong winds. This results in limited power that we can distribute at the moment. We would, however, continue to coordinate with all concerned parties to be able to restore power at the soonest and most reasonable time possible," he said.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)