By Martin Sadongdong
As fireworks lit the evening sky when the clock struck 12 midnight Wednesday, 103 cities and municipalities in the Visayas and parts of southern Luzon remained without electricity due to typhoon “Ursula,” the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
As of 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2020, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said only 50 of the 153 cities and municipalities that experienced a power outage during the onslaught of “Ursula” last week had their electricity restored.
Jalad said code blue alert status is still up at the NDRRMC Operations Center as officials continue to coordinate with concerned government agencies, such as the Department of Energy, to address the matter.
Eastern Visayas (Region 8) has the most number of cities and municipalities that experienced power outage at 81.Of the affected areas, 25 had their electricity restored while 56 have not.
In Western Visayas (Region 6), 47 areas were affected by the power outage, including the entire province of Aklan and Capiz, 11 cities and municipalities in Iloilo, and three in Antique.
Jalad said 70 to 80 percent of Capiz had its electricity restored but portions of Roxas, Panay, Pontevedra, President Roxas, and Pilar towns were still experiencing power outage.
In Central Visayas (Region 7), 12 areas in Cebu were affected by power outage. These were the cities and municipalities of Bantayan, Madridejos, Lapu Lapu, Pilar, Borbon, Catmon, Daanbantayan, Bogo, San Remigio, San Francisco, Tabogon, and Tabuelan.
Jalad said electricity in Pilar, Bogo City, San Remigio, San Francisco, and Tabuelan was fully restored. The power in parts of Lapu Lapu City and Madridejos was also back. Five areas still had no electricity, he added.
In MIMAROPA (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan), 13 areas experienced a power outage, including the entire province of Marinduque; Bulalacao town in Oriental Mindoro; San Jose, Calinataan, Rizal, and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro; and Alcantara and Santa Fe in Romblon.
Jalad said only the province of Marinduque had its power fully restored while the others have not.
“Ursula,” which exited the Philippine Area of Repsonsibility (PAR) on Dec. 28, 2019, is regarded the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the country in 2019, killing at least 50 people while injuring 362 others. Five persons are still missing.
More than 2.4 million Filipinos were affected by “Ursula,” with 80,600 still staying at evacuation centers.