Power back in 80% of Pablo-hit towns: DOE

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 19 2012 01:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 01:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla on Wednesday said power supply in at least 80% of areas hit by typhoon "Pablo" has been restored.

"I'd say my rough estimate sa mga towns na ito, siguro nakaka-80 % na kami na napailawan. Iyung Compostela Valley e lahat iyan nailawan na namin," Petilla told dzMM.

Petilla said restoration of power in the heavily hit coastal towns of Baganga and Cateel in Davao Oriental may take longer. He, however, said high-powered gensets have been provided in these areas to meet the residents' needs.

The energy chief said the government wants to restore electricity in all affected areas before the year ends.

"Ang target talaga namin dito ay December 24 hangga't maaari, pero hindi natin maiwasan na mayroong mga isolated cases, towns at munisipyo na hindi talaga natin maabot agad. Halos everyday mayroon tayong panibagong munisipyo na naiilawan galing sa grid," he said.

Petilla also shared that the typhoon's strong winds toppled at least 500 electric posts. He said this figure is higher than the usual.

"Usually kapag may bagyo, malaki na ang 80, 100 na natutumba. Ito talagang grabe, 500 plus. Akala nga nila hindi mare-resolve ito agad pero ako'y nagugulat din sa mga workers natin, sa mga partners na mabilis ang restoration," he said.

Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council pegged the damage from the typhoon at P24.2 billion – P7.82 billion for infrastructure; P16.35 billion for agriculture; and P49.23 million for private property.

The death toll from the typhoon now stands at 1,047, with the figure expected to rise as 841 remain missing.