Mindanao hit by massive blackout

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ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities are investigating what caused the blackout that hit a wide section of Mindanao early Thursday.

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The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) could not explain the sudden blackout which began shortly before 4 a.m. It said electricity was restored in some areas – Davao City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Cagayan de Oro City and parts of Misamis Oriental province – five hours later, but a large part of Mindanao is still without power.

The NGCP, a private corporation that operates the country’s power transmission network, said it continues to monitor the situation in Mindanao.

The military said it has no reports of NGCP’s facilities in Mindanao being attacked. “We have no reports about any bombings or attacks on steel pylons operated by the NGCP. We also do not know the cause of the blackout,” Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, told The Manila Times.

In Western Mindanao, Capt. Maria Rowena Myuela, a regional military spokesperson, said they also have no reports of any attacks on NGCP towers. “We also have no reports about it, but we were told by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative that the power outage was caused by an abnormal supply of electricity,” she said in a separate interview.

Earlier in February, suspected rebels bombed but failed to bring down a NGCP pylon in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao. The 6th Infantry Division blamed the attack on the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Last September, rebels also blasted a steel pylon in the same town cutting electricity in several provinces. AL JACINTO

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