A strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake centred in Abra province on July 26 2022 has killed at least four people and injured over a hundred people. The earthquake also caused serious damage to roads and infrastructure in the region, resulting in serious power outages.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the earthquake, which struck northern Luzon and created shockwaves which could be felt even in Manila, has affected and displaced almost 12 945 individuals and families.
Local Authorities Responding to Power Interruptions
The earthquake, which was caused by a shift in the Abra River Fault, was highly destructive, triggering landslides and collapsing structures in the northern Philippines. The strong tremors caused several parts of Luzon to experience power interruptions from power line trips and power plant outages.
Local authorities in the Philippines have been effective in managing power disruptions, in many instances restoring power and communication lines affected by the earthquake. However, officials are still monitoring the situation and awaiting updates on some affected areas.
Power disruptions were reported in Abra’s San Isidro town, as well as Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) delivered a preliminary status report on Luzon’s power lines and facilities.
According to the NGCP, power outages had affected the franchise area of the La Union Electric Cooperative (LUELCO), where a key power transmission line, the Bacnotan-Bulala 69-kiloVolt line, tripped at around 8:44am. The NCGP managed to restore the line and normalise loads by 1:07pm.
While power interruption was also reported in other parts of Luzon, affected lines were restored almost immediately, according to the Philippine News Agency. The Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE) reported that power lines and facilities in Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, remained functioning and intact despite feeling aftershocks.
Beyond power line trips, some power plants in Luzon have also been affected by the earthquake.
In a situation report, the DOE highlighted that most power generation plants in Northern Luzon remained operational, with the exception of the Hedcor hydroelectric power plants. The Ferdinand L. Singit and Sabangan facilities in the Hedcor hydroelectric power plants went on outage as a result of the earthquake.
In addition, the DOE reported on power interruptions at electric cooperatives and substations in Luzon, but is still waiting for updated details for some affected areas. The DOE provided the following list of electric cooperatives which experienced power interruption:
- Some municipalities covered by the Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO) in Abra still have power, but the DOE is still awaiting more details on the outage of affected areas
- Among areas covered by the Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO), the Baang and Pegeo substations have been hit by the earthquake. The outage at these substations has affected parts of Tinglayan, Kalinga, Cervantes and Quirino, Ilocos Sur. There have not yet been updates on power restoration at these sites.
- Out of eight substations under LUELCO, six have been restored with power, while the remaining two remain unenergized.
- Repair works are still undergoing for another transmission line, the69-kV line of Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative, which affected the areas of Malisiqui, Bayambang, Basista, and Bautista.