Damage to SURNECO distribution lines 'minimal' after Surigao quake

MANILA, Philippines – Damage to the distribution lines of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative's (SURNECO) was minimal following a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Mindanao on Friday, February 10. 

In a statement on Saturday, February 11, the Department of Energy (DOE) said SURNECO will be able to energize isolated areas affected by the earthquake once the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) completes its maintenance activities on or before 6 pm today.

"It is expected that 90% will be energized as soon as NGCP restores power," the DOE said. 

SURNECO is in charge of clearing and repairs, while NGCP does maintenance works. Surigao City was the epicenter of the earthquake that left at least 6 people dead. 

The municipalities of Malimono and San Francisco in Surigao del Norte are still not passable as of 2 pm Saturday because of two damaged bridges.

"Coordination is still being made if Malimono and San Francisco will have electricity within the day due to their inaccessibility," the DOE explained.

SURNECO, which declared total damage in its headquarters facilities, isolated the two municipalities as well as Surigao City due to "scheduled maintenance works of NGCP," while the municipalities of Sison and Taganaan were also affected.

The Department of Public Works and Highways also said in its 2 pm situational report that Surigao del Norte, including Surigao City, are "experiencing blackout."

In the latest update, the DOE said all NGCP feeders at Bislig Substation are energized, with no major damage or sustained fault.

The 138 kV Butuan-Placer line, meanwhile, has been under scheduled maintenance since 6 am Saturday for the transfer of lines onto permanent transmission structures. – Rappler.com