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Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
September 12, 2010 issue

Snake sparks black out


A SNAKE sneaked its way into a transmission line of the National Grid Corporation in Ubay triggering an explosion in the transformer sending the entire province Friday in total black out. The snake attack came in the wee hours of dawn Friday causing some people to curse the power provider for not making any advanced announcement to enable them to prepare for the power failure. But no way that the power supplier can make any advance notice as the snake incident came so sudden. Many residents were heard complaining that they suffered sleepless bouts as a result because they had a hard time going back to sleep when air conditioners became useless household contraptions for a good night rest. Electric power in the entire province including the City of Tagbilaran went down a little over 1:00 AM Friday catching the Boholanos by surprise as to what really went wrong. A media advisory was immediately circulated by the NGC in Cebu to Bohol selected outlets but it made no significant help to an already irate power users. It took all of 11 hours for the poor Boholanos to endure the ordeal of having no electricity.


About 30 minutes before 12:00 noon Friday, power was restored in some parts of Bohol following the an island-wide blackout caused by a snake that strayed into and damaged a power transformer. The island's power supply, cut off at around 1 a.m. on Friday, was normalized in many parts of the province by about 5 p.m. of the same day, said Bohol Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio. Damalerio said that based on the information gathered by Governor Edgar Chatto from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), a snake crawled into the NGCP's transmission line and the resulting short-circuit caused an explosion in its transformer in Ubay town.

Because Bohol's power supply, which comes from a geothermal plant in Leyte, runs through the transformer, it caused a massive blackout, said Damalerio. Damalerio said the governor was immediately assured by NGCP that power would be stabilized in a day after replacing the damaged transformer. In Tagbilaran City, power was restored at around noon and at Maribojoc town at 2 p.m., said first district Representative Rene Relampagos in a separate interview. The NGCP, in a statement released Friday night, said power restoration work was started immediately after a 100-megavolt ampere transformer at its Ubay substation tripped off at around 1 a.m. of Friday. It said the problem began when a transformer insulator was damaged by a snake that got caught in the equipment. (With reports from Cebu Daily News)

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