Routes et ponts étant impraticables, c’est par voie aérienne, grâce à l’utilisation d’hélicoptères, qu’hommes et matériels ont pu être acheminés.
"In spite of aftershocks, heavy rains and damaged bridges and roads, NGCP pursued its restoration efforts by resorting to helicopters and motorcycles to reach the areas that were inaccessible to line trucks," the company has noted.
The transmission firm reiterated that "five transmission structures along the Amlan-Bindoy-Guihulngan 69kV (kilovolt) transmission line were affected by the calamity."
It explained that because of the situation in the area, "linemen had to manually haul the tower materials to more accessible locations in preparation for helicopter airlifting of lightweight steel tower segments to Guihulngan City once the weather had cleared."
In the earthquake-affected areas, NGCP stressed that power transmission service restoration had been completed as early as February 11 (Saturday).
"Normal operation of the Negros sub-grid was restored after completion of repairs and re-energization of the Bindoy-Guihulngan 69-kV line," the company said.
Leveraging on past experiences, NGCP can only give assurance that it "will continue to go beyond limits" when it comes to improving its service to customers, emphasizing that it "remains committed to fast-track similar restoration efforts during emergencies."
The privately-owned firm which was tapped as a concessionaire for the operation and system upgrade of the country's transmission network, incessantly stepped up its power restoration capabilities after the 'tough power restoration experience' it had with a super typhoon, just months after it took over the power grid in 2009.
Since then, the company has invested resources (financial and human skills improvement) aimed at improving emergency response and equipment repair capabilities so occurrence of power interruptions can be minimized, if not totally avoided.
For force majeure events, such as earthquakes or typhoons, power utilities are allowed to recover costs invested for repair and restoration works. The pass-on of such cost to ratepayers, however, will still have to go through the rigorous process of evaluation and re-calculation of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Familles affectées et déplacées.
More than 14,000 families in Central Visayas suffered as a result of the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of the region last Monday.
Of the total 73,377 persons displaced, at least 4,265 persons remained Wednesday in evacuation centers -- hungry, thirsty and far too afraid to return home.
Twenty-six were confirmed dead, with 71 still missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Felia Acabal, 33, Nicalona Mejares, 7, and a 62-year-old man were all critically injured, according to rescue teams’ initial assessment.
Acabal and Mejares both had a fracture in their left leg after being hit by a firewall. His ceiling collapsed on the 62-year-old man at the height of the quake, the strongest to hit the region in nine decades.
The three were airlifted by a Philippine Air Force chopper Wednesday morning and arrived in Cebu City at 10:15 a.m.
Medical teams from Cebu City were also sent to Guihulngan, which lacks a medical facility that could help those injured, said Nonoy Mongaya, VSMMC information officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Cristopher Tampus of the military’s Central Command, based in Cebu, said there was still no water or power in Guihulngan Wednesday.
The Armed Forces sent five helicopters and two ships to Negros Oriental to assist those affected areas. The Armed Forces also sent 83 personnel to Guihulngan and 216 to La Libertad.
Tampus said the helicopters will be used to transport relief goods and injured victims.
“Helicopters are useful as the roads are damaged in some areas in Negros,” said Tampus.
With 10 bridges in Negros Oriental still impassable -- four of them in Guihulngan -- the total damage to public infrastructure was pegged at P265.76 million, the NDRRMC said.
In a press statement, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sent a donation center set up at the regional office in Cebu City, and donations such as mats, tents, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils, underwear, slippers, potable water, food and clothing would greatly help the victims.
A hotline is also available to the public for inquiries: (032)2321192. In its updates, the NDRRMC appealed for donations of clean water, medicines, tents, picks and shovels for search teams, food for the victims and rescuers, and field oxygen tanks.
Also on Wednesday, President Benigno Aquino III donated P3.3 million to Guihulngan City, one of the areas badly-hit by the 6.9-magnitude earthquake in Negros Oriental.
Aquino, who inspected areas damaged by the quake, handed over the check to City Mayor Ernesto Reyes.
Some 90 houses were reportedly buried in Barangay Solinggon in La Libertad, Sitio Moog and Barangay Planas in Guihulngan City, following a landslide due to the quake.
About 29 people were feared to be buried alive while other survivors were injured.
Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said President Aquino assured necessary assistance and jobs for the people of Guihulngan.
The President, who is celebrating his 52nd birthday, flew to Dumaguete City to personally oversee the relief and rescue operations being done by concerned government agencies.
Mylene Villegas, Phivolcs Manila geologic disaster awareness and preparedness division chief, assured that the aftershocks to last Monday’s earthquake would subside in the coming days.
“The rocks underground affected by the earthquake are still adjusting,” she said.
She urged people to be watchful and to check their houses and offices for cracks.
She also recommended that schools conduct earthquake drills so that students would know what to do.
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