Meralco slowly restores power cut by Typhoon Ulysses
Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) – November 12, 2020 – 11:04am
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 12:20 p.m., Nov. 12)— Power connections of 2.5 million households serviced by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) remained cut before noon Thursday, as the power distributor slowly reconnects electricity of residents disadvantaged by Typhoon Ulysses.
In an updated bulletin, Meralco said 2,499,884 homes around its service area continued to have no power as of 10 a.m. That figure, however, was down from 3,803,810 five hours ago as restoration efforts persisted. A typical Filipino household has about 4.5 people living in it, based on government estimates.
Broken down, customers in Metro Manila accounted for the bulk of customers still with no lights on at 1.03 million. Areas within Bulacan province were next with 682,268 households affected, followed by Cavite with 522,262 homes.
A total of 202,862 houses in Rizal province also remained with no power access during reporting hour, 45,892 in Laguna, 10,872 in Pampanga, 5,347 in Quezon province and the balance of 248 houses in Batangas.
“Rest assured that Meralco’s crews will immediately attend to the trouble areas as soon as the weather allows,” Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said in an earlier statement, without giving a timeline on when power would be restored.
As of the latest weather bulletin in 8 a.m. of Thursday, “Ulysses” is on the way out of the Philippines through Central Luzon, but not without leaving devastation in Metro Manila, Bicol, and Calabarzon overnight when howling winds and torrential rains kept people awake for most of the night.
Meralco, the country’s largest power distributor, services 36 cities and 75 municipalities covering 9,685 square kilometers in key residential and industrial areas in Luzon.
“Many electric posts were damaged, I do not know when they will be repaired,” Zaldarriaga said in a separate interview with dzBB radio station.
In a separate Viber message early in the day, Zaldarriaga said Meralco teams will be working “round-the-clock” to repair damage posts. “We are exerting all efforts to restore power soonest despite the constraints we are currently facing,” he said.
Editor’s note: This story was amended to reflect updated data from Meralco.