AN OFFICIAL of Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Company Inc. (Cepalco) said the blackout that affected about 50 percent of the distribution utility's service area Friday evening, May 20, may have been triggered by rain.
"We haven't experience rain sa past few months so pag-ulan gahapon, most likely, our insulators and equipment during sa walay ulan napuno sa abog; so pag-ulan usahay instead mag-insulate mag conduct na hinoon, we called this flash-over and we think this is the cause," Cepalco Vice President Ralph Paguio said.
Paguio said Cepalco maintenance personnel were immediately dispatched to patrol areas affected by the blackout to check the power lines.
"Naa mga report nga dunay niboto so atong gipa-check. Ang problema kung ang insulator wala nabuak nag crack lang mao na ang pangitaon and we have lots of insulators gikan sa mga poste, transformers, switches and substations," Paguio said.
Paguio said operations men had to check and look for the problem before switching electricity back on to avoid further damage.
The blackout began at 5 p.m. in some areas and lasted more than three hours.
Meanwhile, Cepalco announced that it has scheduled power interruptions on Sunday, May 22, for Cagayan de Oro City and some parts of Misamis Oriental.
Cepalco said it will conduct facilities maintenance work along the Bulua highway and in Iponan proper.
An eight-hour power outage will be implemented from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. affecting Iponan proper from junction Centro and Villamar towards Bulao and all other areas in Iponan.
A two-hour power interruption will also be experienced from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. affecting Bulua highway from Power Machinery near Rotonda towards Kinasanghan up to Junction Villamar and Iponan proper near Alta Pharm.
Cepalco has also scheduled the erection of a 69-kilovolt pole at Tagoloan Bridge on May 22, that would cause a 12-hour power interruption in the affected service areas.
Interruption time starts at 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. affecting portion of Tagoloan Poblacion from back of Tagoloan convent including St. Mary's School to Siayon, Tagoloan; Phividec pump station, Tesda, PLDT.
Another two hours switching-load transfer will be also be implemented from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Affected areas are HCH Corporation, Tagoloan and Del Monte Philippines Inc. in Barangay Bugo; Kirahon San Martin Villanueva down to San Martin old Road to Dayawan up to Sta. Cruz Tagoloan including Sta. Ana, Nasalaban, Bontong and Sto Rosario; Solane, Pilipinas Shell including Kirahon Resettlement area and KSEC PV plant.
Other areas to be affected include Natumulan and greater part of Tagoloan proper, all the barangays of Baluarte, Pulot, Sugbongcogon, and Gracia, Tagoloan, PACCO/Vicmar area up to Kibulda; All the barangays of Bugo, Puerto and Upper Puerto, Tin-ao, Agusan and Balubal area, Tablon, Baloy, Cugman, Gusa and Lapasan; Lapasan highway up to corner Agora-Shell including Puregold and portion of corner Pimentel; and Agora market area including Gaabucayan Extension.
Cepalco said it will immediately restore power when line and switching works are completed even earlier than schedule.