MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Hundreds of thousands are still without power over a week after Typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-Ten) ravaged the Bicol and Southern Luzon regions during the Christmas holidays, officials said Wednesday.
As of 7 p.m., power has been restored in 1,003,519 households or just around 56.86 percent of the 1,765,013 households affected by the storm, the National Electrification Administration said.
Power will be restored in 761,494 households "before February," with a restoration rate of four poles a day in flat lands and two pols per day in mountainous areas, said energy undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella.
The government aims to reconnect by Wednesday 100 percent of utilities to the National Grid Corp., which distributes electricity to the Luzon mainland. Separate restoration efforts are being done in the island provinces of Catanduanes, Marinduque, and Oriental Mindoro.
In Sorsogon, power in 46,366 households has been restored under the franchise area of Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative, the National Electrification Administration said.
Albay province, meanwhile, has restored 31 percent of all affected areas or a total of 68,668 households, according to the Albay Power and Energy Corporation.
All power facilities have been restored in Camarines Norte, but 296,219 households in Camarines Sur remain without power.
Quezon Province has reached 50 percent restoration status for all typhoon-affected areas while Batangas II Electric Cooperative have attained 100 percent restoration, NEA added.
“Nina” damaged 35 towers and 672 poles in the grid, spokeswoman Cynthia Alabanza said, adding some 600 additional workers have been deployed to speed up repairs.
Power restoration will prioritize town centers, where relief and rehabilitation efforts are being coordinated, said Fuentebella said.
A total of 982 personnel from 52 participating energy companies and distribution utilities were deployed to help restore power supply in the affected areas, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
“We’ve already added personnel and augmented assets through private institutions and we are continuously monitoring the progress of power restoration,” said Cusi.