Blackout hits 18 towns in Abra

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY , Philippines – A power outage hit 18 of the 27 towns in Abra on Tuesday after a transformer of the Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) exploded.

The explosion triggered a fire at the Abreco substation in Barangay Calaba in Bangued that lasted for 20 minutes.

Tayum, Dolores, San Juan, Tineg, Lagangilang, Lacub, Licuan-Baay, Malibcong, Bucay, Sallapadan, Bucloc, Daguioman, Manabo, Boliney, Luba and Tubo towns as well as five barangays in Bangued and Lagayan were plunged into total darkness.

Alexander Molina,  Abreco’s technical services department manager, said the five-megavolt ampere transformer, which was installed in 1972, could have suffered a breakdown or internal fault due to “many electrical stresses along its feeders since its inception.”

Molina said the transformer was scheduled to undergo annual preventive maintenance service after the community quarantine is lifted.

Task Force Duterte-Abra Power said it is looking for a replacement of the busted transformer to fully restore power in the affected areas.

Abreco said rotating blackouts or “load-dropping” in the affected towns would continue to cover the undercapacity of the remaining functioning transformers.

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