Power transmission services to be restored by January 1

ENERGY system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said it targets to repair by January 1, 2020 the transmission lines damaged by Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone) in the Visayas.

In a statement, the NGCP listed its restoration targets as follows:

  • Leyte Electric Cooperative (Leyeco III) - December 28
  • Don Orestes Romualdez Electric Cooperative (Dorelco) - December 31
  • Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative (Esamelco) - December 31
  • Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) III - January 1
  • Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco) - December 28 (Ibajay, Lezo)

A total of 14 towers and 59 transmission structures were found damaged by the typhoon, which barreled through central Philippines on December 24 and 25, 2019.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, one 138-kilovolt (kV) line and several 69-kV lines were still de-energized.

The loss of power and telecommunication services in the wake of the typhoon made damage assessment difficult.

The typhoon hit land seven times as it swept through central Philippines: in Salcedo, Eastern Samar; Tacloban City, Leyte; Cabucgayan, Biliran; Gigantes Island in Carles, Iloilo; Ibajay, Aklan; Semirara Island in Caluya, Antique; and southern tip of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro.

In Eastern Visayas region, the death toll from Typhoon Ursula increased to eight after another body was found in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Friday, December 27.

Authorities have yet to identify the male victim, whose body was retrieved by fishermen at the Divinubo Island in Borongan.

Whether he was one of four fishermen reported as missing earlier has yet to be established.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) said it was still consolidating reports coming from the local government units.

Power and telecommunication services were still unstable as of Friday. Areas without electricity are Basey and Marabut, Samar, some parts of Northern Samar, Tacloban City, and Ormoc City.

Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto and Tacloban City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin have declared a state of calamity in their respective areas in the wake of the storm.

As of Thursday afternoon, the number of evacuees was 8,965, as follows: San Isidro, Leyte, 1,185; Ormoc City, 100; Tacloban City, 111; Catarman and San Vicente, Northern Samar, 321; and Eastern Samar, 7,780.

In Western Visayas, the municipal council of Concepcion, Iloilo has also declared a state of calamity to allow the use of its calamity funds to assist those affected by the typhoon.

In a special session on Friday, the Concepcion Municipal Council passed Resolution No. 2019-116 allowing the realignment of P700,000 unutilized 70-percent Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MDRRM) Fund part II from the MDRRMF AIP for 2019.

Concepcion, situated in the northeastern part of Iloilo, also sustained major damage from the typhoon.

Some 617 families, or 2,127 individuals, in 15 barangays were affected by Typhoon Ursula in Concepcion. Several houses, pump boats, classrooms and a chapel were either damaged or destroyed.

Earlier, Capiz province and Kalibo town in Aklan also declared a state of calamity. (Ronald O. Reyes in Tacloban and Leo Solinap in Iloilo)