'Odette' aftermath: Cebu sustains extensive damage

Updated: Sep 6


Typhoon Odette's violent winds topple electric posts along Salvador St. in Labangon, Cebu City. (Ventures Cebu)

UPDATED - Powerful Typhoon Odette (Rai) blew away roofs, toppled trees and utility posts, smashed glass windows, cut off vital services and shut down the airport as it slammed into Cebu Thursday evening, Dec. 16, 2021.


The lights went out just as violent winds started to lash the island-province at around 7 p.m. Thursday. With no electricity, the water pumps also stopped operating.


Telecommunications became erratic, with one network's services cut off entirely. As of Friday afternoon, Globe Telecom's services have not been restored.


The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), a vital gateway, suspended operations at 6:52 p.m. Thursday. About seven hours later, airport operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. announced that operations will remain suspended and the airport closed "until further notice" as the facility sustained heavy damage from the typhoon.


Distribution utility Visayan Electric Co. said electricity was cut off in at least 95% of its franchise area at the onset of the typhoon. On Friday morning, Visayan Electric said it was still assessing the damage.


Visayan Electric, which is the second biggest utility in the country, serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and the municipalities of Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.


As of Friday afternoon, Visayan Electric has yet to restore services.


"Much as we would like to energize our franchise area right away, the magnitude of the damage caused by the typhoon prevents us from doing so. We will conduct line clearing operations first before restoring power," Visayan Electric said.


"In these times of difficulty, we ask for our customers' understanding if we cannot attend to your concerns right away. Our team members are also victims of the typhoon and are also ensuring the safety of their respective families," it added.


A fallen tree blocks Katipunan St. in Labangon, Cebu City in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette (Rai). (Ventures Cebu)


On Mactan Island, Mactan Electric Co., Inc. said only three of its feeders were functioning shortly before the typhoon struck.


The Metropolitan Cebu Water District said all its pumps stopped operating after power supply from Visayan Electric and MECO was cut off. Supply from Carmen was also disrupted because of the poor quality of water.


In northern Cebu, Cebu Electric Cooperative II (Cebeco II) said it was ready to resume operations as soon as power grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) re-energizes the Visayas grid.


Disaster risk reduction and management councils across Cebu were still clearing roads of felled trees and posts, twisted pieces of roofing and other debris as of Friday morning.


Typhoon Odette whipped Cebu with maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h and gustiness of up to 240 km/h. It made landfall in the vicinity of Carcar City in the south at around 10 p.m. Thursday.


The typhoon, packing winds of up to 195 km/h and gustiness of 260 km/h at its peak, carved a path of destruction through Caraga region and Bohol province before slamming into Cebu.


Visayas


Power grid operator NGCP announced that 15 138kV transmission lines were not available as of Friday morning. The entire province of Surigao del Norte, parts of Surigao del Sur, parts of Agusan del Sur, and entire province of Bohol were without electricity.


NGCP’s 350kV HVDC Line and three 230kV lines were also unavailable. Below is a list of affected transmission lines.


Ormoc-San Isidro 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 7:35 a.m.

Affected Customer: BILECO, LEYECO III, DORELCO, LEYECO V


Maasin-Nasaug-San Isidro 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 10:14 a.m.

Affected Customer: SOLECO


Maasin-Hilongos 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec.16, 2021 / 11:55 a.m.

Affected Customer: LEYECO IV


Tolosa-San Isidro 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 11:16 a.m.

Affected Customer: DORELCO


Ubay-Alicia-Garcia 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 12:51 p.m.

Affected Customer: BOHECO II


Paranas-Borongan-Quinapondan 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 2:41 p.m.

Affected Customer: ESAMELCO


Ubay-Trinidad-Carmen 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 4:08 p.m.

Affected Customer: BOHECO I & II


Calong-Calong-Asturias 69kV line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 5:02 p.m.

Affected Customer: CEBECO III


Ormoc-Baybay 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 3:50 p.m.

Affected Customer: LEYECO IV & V


Amlan-San Carlos 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 4:54 p.m.

Affected Customer: NORECO I & II


Amlan-Siaton 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 7:45 p.m.

Affected Customer: NORECO II


Babatngon-Arado 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 6:12 p.m.

Affected Customer: LEYECO II


San Jose-Culasi 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 9:33 p.m.

Affected Customer: ANTECO


Sta. Barbara-Hamtic 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 17, 2021 / 12:07 a.m.

Affected Customer: ILECO I


Panit-an-Sapian 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 10:21 p.m.

Affected Customer: CAPELCO


Mindanao


San Francisco-Tandag 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 11:01 a.m.

Affected Customer: SURSECO II


Butuan-Bayugan 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 162021 / 10:08 a.m.

Affected Customer: ANECO, ASELCO


Bislig-Bagangga 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 12:45 p.m.

Affected Customer: DORECO


Jasaan-Kinoguitan 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 2:27 p.m.

Affected Customer: MORESCO II, CAMELCO


Aurora-Calamba 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 6:38 p.m.

Affected Customer: MOELCI I & II


Lugait-Kiwalan 69kV Line

Date/Time Out: Dec. 16, 2021 / 6:25 p.m.

Affected Customer: ILPI


In a statement Friday, NGCP said its line crews were assessing the impact of the typhoon on its facilities and undertaking restoration activities in the areas that were already accessible. (MVI/Ventures Cebu)

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