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Cepalco apologizes for blackout, says lightning may be one cause

By NITZ ARANCON
Correspondent .

A family pushes through with celebrating a member’s graduation with a thanksgiving dinner despite the citywide blackout on Wednesday night. (photo by Cong B. Corrales)

THE Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. (Cepalco) yesterday apologized for a citywide blackout that crippled the city on Wednesday night.

The blackout lasted for 30 minutes in some areas and over five hours in other places. In Puntod and its surrounding barangays, a fire prevented Cepalco from quickly restoring the power supply. (See related story on col. 6)

Marilyn Azarcon-Chavez, Cepalco manager for customer relations, said technical problems involving power lines in Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental, and Barangay Agusan, this city, resulted in the blackout.

Chavez said Cepalco’s technical people said a line-to-ground fault, believed to have been caused by lightning that struck in Villanueva town, and a faulty power line in Barangay Agusan, this city, caused the blackout.

What Cepalco did was to use another power line to gradually restore the electric supply, she said.

Read related story: Unscheduled blackout earns mix feedbacks from consumers

The supply of electricity was disrupted at around 6:30 pm, affecting the Cepalco franchise area, including Tagoloan and Villanueva towns.

The blackout lasted for about 30 minutes in some western parts of the city. But in the eastern villages like Bugo, Agusan and Cugman, the blackout lasted for over five hours.

Chavez said Cepalco was about to restore the power supply in Puntod and its neighboring areas but a warehouse fire prevented it.

Meanwhile, Chavez said Cepalco is working to prevent a similar blackout from marring the May elections.

She said Cepalco’s field workers have started checking power lines especially those of schools that would serve as polling precincts in close coordination with the Department of Education. (with Herbie Gomez)

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