• DoE urges public to adopt energy disaster safeguards

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    THE Department of Energy (DoE) reminded the public to adopt safety precautions in using energy to avert possible danger to lives and property amid the series of earthquakes that rocked Batangas, Mindoro and other adjacent areas last week.

    “We want to remind everyone to adopt the appropriate safety precautions and be prudent in their energy use to ensure their family is safe when a disaster, such as an earthquake, strikes,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Sunday.

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that between 3:07 and 3:09 p.m. Friday (April 7) successive earthquakes with a magnitude 5.6 and 6.0 respectively jolted Mabini, Batangas affecting houses and major infrastructure, including energy facilities.

    Among others, Cusi suggested a periodic check for earthquake hazards posed by appliances that could move and cause rupture of electrical or gas lines. Following an earthquake, a similar check should be done before using those appliances again, he added.

    Cusi also said fire hazards and flammable fluids such as kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), solvents or cleaning products should be stored properly.

    In addition, he reminded the public to prepare their own earthquake emergency kit at home that should include, food, water, medicine, a flashlight, whistle, as well as a plan to communicate with their family in times of emergency or disaster.

    Meanwhile, Cusi bared that DoE-Energy Policy and Planning Bureau is drafting a policy on resiliency planning and programs in the energy industries which include the power, upstream and downstream oil, energy resource development and renewable energy sectors.

    He said the plan aims to strengthen existing infrastructure facilities to withstand adverse weather conditions and incorporate mitigation improvements into the restoration of damaged infrastructure so that recurrence will cause less damage; and improve operational and maintenance standards and practices to ensure expeditious restoration of energy supply.

    While the earthquake caused power interruptions, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that power was fully restored at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday (April 8) in all transmission facilities in areas affected by the tripping of generation plants due to the earthquakes that occurred at 3:08 p.m. of the same day.

    According to the NGCP report, the Batangas-San Lorenzo Lines 1-2 were affected with an initial report on a toppled tower and the switchyard at the San Gabriel Natural Gas Power Plant was also damaged due to the earthquake.

    The report also showed a generation loss of 2,584-megawatt, which affected the power supply and services in various provinces in Luzon, including Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija.

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