Co-ops urged to temporarily cut off power amid 'Ruby'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2014 05:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2014 01:42 AM

MANILA – The National Electrification Administration (NEA) is urging electric cooperatives in areas that will be hit by Typhoon Ruby to temporarily cut off power supply to prevent accidents and damage that may be caused by expected strong winds and rains.

Judith Alferez of the NEA’s public office affairs division said it is up to the assessment of local electric cooperatives if this move is necessary.

It will still have to be approved by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

Once the typhoon has passed, priority will shift to bringing back supply as soon as possible, except in areas with intensive damage or deep floods.

Based on NEA’s study, the typhoon may affect 76 electric cooperatives in 53 provinces in its path.

Emergency funds are being readied for the cooperatives that may need repairs after the typhoon.

NEA is also coordinating with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in trimming trees and branches that may obstruct power lines.

On Friday, several electric cooperatives started to cut off power supply in some areas in the Visayas and Bicol region.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), meanwhile, is also preparing for damage the typhoon may cause to its franchise areas, including Metro Manila.

Meralco has requested the owners and operators of billboards to temporarily roll down tarpaulins and other materials that may damage power lines, which Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldariaga said is one of the primary reasons of power interruptions during typhoons.

Meralco also said its linemen are on standby to assist areas that may be affected by blackouts during the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby. -- Report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News