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Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Philippines
Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Collapsed trees and dislodged tarpaulins cause power outages after strong winds in Davao City

The August 16 heavy rain and strong winds caused power interruptions in many parts of Davao City which were brought about mainly by collapsed trees and dislodged billboard tarpaulins.

Eighty percent of the power interruptions reported from the evening of August 16 to 17 were caused by collapsed trees and vegetation touching power lines following the heavy rain and strong winds. The other 20% of the outages are isolated cases such as damaged service entrances. “We apologize to the affected customers who endured long duration of power outages,” said Fermin Edillon, Davao Light Reputation Enhancement Department Head. “Our crews responded to the areas after getting reports of no power, surveyed the lines, and identified the faults. Extensive work is needed for these situations – from the removal of collapsed trees to the replacement of damaged electrical equipment. However, we cannot immediately do so because of the continuous rain. We also need to ensure the safety of our teams conducting power restoration activities,” Edillon added.

Davao Light continues to coordinate and partner with local government units in its franchise area to ensure that RA 11361 is being implemented. The company also seeks the support of its customers by contacting Davao Light if they see structures, trees, and vegetation that are dangerously close to power lines. The company’s tree trimming service is free of charge. Davao Light also has a team tasked to survey areas with heavy vegetation and tall trees and trim them to avoid unplanned outages.

On the other hand, two dislodged tarpaulins also caused widespread outages affecting Bajada, R. Castillo, Pampanga, Lanang, and Panacan areas. The first tarpaulin located in front of a pediatric specialty hospital along Bajada touched Davao Light’s 69kV line causing a one-hour and 34-minute outage on the evening of August 16 affecting customers in Bajada, R. Castillo, Pampanga, Panacan, and nearby areas. Meanwhile, the second tarpaulin was blown away and got caught on the company’s 13.8kV line near a mall in Lanang and caused a 33-minute power interruption in the vicinity on the evening of August 17. Both tarpaulins were seen burning after touching the high voltage lines.

“We are coordinating with the Davao City LGU on what we can do about these billboard structures that are too close to our power lines,” said Edillon. “On many occasions, our customers were inconvenienced by dislodged tarpaulins touching or falling on power lines and causing widespread outages. If we don’t proactively do something about this, outages such as these will happen repeatedly. Aside from that, these may cause irreversible damage to our primary lines.”

Davao Light is guided by Republic Act No. 11361 or the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act which ensures the continuous and uninterrupted conveyance of electricity from generating plants to end users. It also aims to protect the integrity and reliability of the country’s power lines. This includes keeping the area around power lines free from dangerous obstructions and prohibiting the planting of trees and vegetation under and around power lines.

Davao Light continues to coordinate and partner with local government units in its franchise area to ensure that RA 11361 is being implemented. The company also seeks the support of its customers by contacting Davao Light if they see structures, trees, and vegetation that are dangerously close to power lines. The company’s tree trimming service is free of charge. Davao Light also has a team tasked to survey areas with heavy vegetation and tall trees and trim them to avoid unplanned outages.

Edillon added, “The Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act is a shared responsibility among Davao Light, the LGUs, and the customers. This does not only ensure the continuous supply of power to consumers but also ensures the safety of all.”

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