5 Batangas towns without electricity due to Taal eruption

MANILA, Philippines – Electric power supply in two towns in Batangas were completely shutdown as part of the precaution brought about by the restive Taal Volcano, said the National Electrification Administration (NEA) Tuesday afternoon.

Taal Volcano erupted Sunday, January 12, spewing tons of ash and debris and forcing the evacuation of several nearby towns.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has kept Taal Volcano at Alert Level 4, which means a "hazardous" eruption is "imminent" or may occur "within days to hours."

NEA said the Batangas I Electric Cooperative Incorporated (BATELEC I) has cut electricity supply in the towns of Agoncillo and San Nicolas. The forced shutdown affected 12,850 households.

Batelec I said the heavy ashfall since Sunday has also cut the electric power in Sta Teresita town and portions of Calaca and San Luis town because of tripping of the circuit feeder. 

As for jurisdiction of  Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Incorporated (BATELEC II), still in the dark were towns of Talisay and Laurel as the Batangas substation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) was still unavailable.  This covers some 16,286 households.

Meanwhile,  electricity has been restored in 45.65% of the consumers in Tanauan City. 

Electricity remained normal in the towns of Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Lipa, Lobo, Mabini, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, Rosario, San Jose, San Juan, Taysan, and Tingloy.

Meanwhile, power supplied by First Gen Corporation said its gas plants in Batangas are still operating.

However, the electric company said Tuesday, any adverse change in the situation of Taal Volcano may temporarily affect their operations. 

“Under such condition, our gas turbines can potentially suffer damage from the continuous ash fall, which in turn could affect our ability to deliver power.

"Any possible decision to curtail our Batangas power plant operations will be based on safety and good utility practice considerations,” it said.

First Gen owns the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita, 500-MW San Lorenzo, 420MW San Gabriel and 97-MW Avion gas plants in Batangas. – Rappler.com