The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Wednesday allayed fears of a national blackout amid heavy rains in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
"We reiterate that there is no truth to a circulating rumor of a possible national blackout. Meralco is only de-energizing areas that are severely flooded," Meralco said via Twitter.
This, amid mounting reports through text messages and social media networks that a power outage now experienced by about a tenth of Meralco consumers will soon cover the rest of the country.
While it denied the rumor, Meralco has yet to announce an estimate time of power restoration in flooded areas.
"We advise our customers that restoration of power will depend on floodwater levels in their areas. We assure everyone that all our crews are on the field inspecting power lines in order to ensure the safety of everyone. We ask for your understanding and patience," Meralco said via Twitter.
President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, for his part, urged Filipinos to be "more responsible" in circulating information.
"Yung mga kababayan po nating nagkakalat ng mga maling text, wag na po nating pakabahin pa yung mga kababayan nating dumadaan sa pagsubok ngayon (I ask those who pass around false text messages to stop adding to the worries of our fellow Filipinos)," Aquino said in a press briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He added that Meralco is not capable of shutting down power nationwide as it only a power distributor in Metro Manila.
China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …