Power, water, telco services down in Cebu after ‘Odette’

·3 min read

TYPHOON Odette (RAI) knocked out power, water and telecommunication services in large parts of Cebu when it slammed into the province on Thursday night, Dec. 16, 2021.

It packed maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center with gusts of up to 240 kilometers per hours when it slammed into Carcar City in southern Cebu at 10 p.m. Thursday.

As of 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, power was still out in many parts of Metro Cebu, and the Visayan Electric Co., which serves an estimated 1.73 million people in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu -- Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando -- could not yet give an estimate on when it could restore power in its franchise area.

“Much as we would like to energize our franchise area right away, the magnitude of the damage caused by the typhoon prevents us from doing so. We will conduct line clearing operations first before restoring power,” it said on its Facebook page.

The company sought its customers’ understanding that it could not immediately attend to their concerns, saying its team members were also victims of the typhoon and were also ensuring the safety of their respective families.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) said its supply coming from its bulk water supplier Cebu Manila Water Development (CMWD) in Carmen town was also “gradually increasing.”

MCWD cited the areas affected as Compostela, Liloan and Consolacion towns; Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities; and the following areas in Cebu City: M.J. Cuenco Ave., Lower Mabolo, North Reclamation Area, Pier Area; Barangays Carreta, Lorega San Miguel, Tejero, T. Padilla and Tinago; and Part of Imus.

The CMWD facility sources its water from the Luyang river in Luyang, Carmen, Cebu.

On Thursday, hours ahead of Typhoon Odette’s arrival in Cebu, MCWD had announced that its pumps had stopped operating in its entire franchise area due to the wide power service interruptions of the Visayan Electric Co. and Mactan Electric Co. Inc.

It said its water supply from Carmen had also been stopped because the water had turned murky.

As for telecommunication services, Globe Telecom said Odette’s strong winds and torrential rains had affected its data and mobile services in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Globe Telecom said that as of 6 p.m. Friday, it had restored its services in Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Bukidnon while restoration efforts were still continuing in other areas.

The affected provinces were Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Iloilo, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Guimaras, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Camiguin, and Palawan.

Globe said the outages were caused by multiple fiber cuts and the lack of commercial power.

The telco said restoration efforts were ongoing, and that its LTE@Home Postpaid, Broadband Wireline services and GOMO services were up and available.

At 11 a.m. Friday, Smart Communications warned that Smart subscribers in Mindanao may experience disruption in mobile data and voice services due to “multiple fiber cable breaks” caused by Typhoon Odette.

“We have begun sending emergency load assistance to those heavily impacted by Odette so those affected may stay connected with their loved ones while we conduct repairs,” the company said in a Facebook post.

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