Blackout in Samal to last 2 weeks

THE Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) will have no electricity for at least two weeks as once again the submarine cable of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco), connecting the island to the electricity grid, was hit Thursday, March 17, by a bulk vessel.

The power loss started at 9:53 a.m. Thursday.

Daneco manager Charles Bejod, in a statement, confirmed that the M/V Ecuador ship's anchor hit the cable in the shoreline of Barangay Caliclic, Babak District.

"It will take no more than two weeks to re-energize again the island," he said, adding that at present they are checking on the extent of the damage necessary to identify the proper move to bring back power.

"We are now at work for our legal action against the owner of the vessel," Bejod added.

Igacos public information officer Melrose Arig said that the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRM) is doing what it can to provide temporary reprieve.

"The CDRRM is conducting damage assessment so we can request for a state of calamity and can use funds for the problem," she said.

Daneco officials are looking on the possibility of requesting the Mindoro Grid Corp. to provide power to the island.

"Daneco, with the help of Mindoro Power Grid, assures to provide 8 Megawatts (MW) for the whole island by Holy Thursday, March 24," she said.

Arig also said that the local government unit of Igacos with the Bureau of Fire Protection(BFP) and Engineering Office will provide generators to the Samal Water District for the consumption of the water stations particularly in Pe¤aplata station 9 in Babak (Lawig).

This will also be the source of water for distribution to barangays. With this, the barangays are requested to put drums along the highway. The public is requested by the local government to take extra care in using candles during the blackout period to avoid fire incidents.

Meanwhile, Davao Light and Power Company's plan to take over a franchise area in Igacos depends on the decision of the Igacos City Government, DLPC executive vice-president and chief operating officer Arturo Milan said in an interview.

"That will really depend on the LGU of Samal and Daneco if they will allow us to take over the electricity distribution in Samal," Milan said.
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