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Batanes hit with power outage as Typhoon Betty causes fuel shortage

The province of Batanes is dealing with power outages as delivery of fuel supply for electricity lines is delayed due to Typhoon Betty, Governor Marilou Cayco said Monday.

“Sa ngayon mayroon kaming brownout pero hindi dahil sa bagyo, dahil ito sa kawalan namin ng fuel,” she said in an interview over dzBB’s Super Radyo.

(We have a power outage, but not because of the typhoon. It’s because of fuel shortage.)

According to Cayco, residents currently experience power service interruptions after the motor tanker of the National Power Corporation scheduled to bring the fuel supply for the power plants was stranded in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

“Hanggang masama ang panahon, hanggang nandyan si Betty at hindi pa gaganda ang panahon ay hindi makakatawid 'yung tanker na may dala ng fuel. Kaya pwede na tatagal pa hindi lang 10 p.m., pwede kaming magdamag na walang ilaw o kaya 24/7. Wala kaming power kung magtagal pa itong sama ng panahon,” the official added.

(As long as inclement weather prevails, the tanker cannot cross the waters to deliver the fuel. The service interruption may last not just from 10 p.m. but even the whole day.)

To address their power issues, Cayco called for bigger fuel tanks or additional generator sets (gensets) for the province to help them maintain buffer stock.

“Nananawagan po ako sa national [government] na sana mabigyan kami nang mas malaking tangke ng fuel... Kung pwede po kaming mabigyan dito nang mas malaking tangke para makapag-buffer stock 'pag ganito na ang panahon o kaya mabigyan kami ng genset,” she said.

(We ask the national government to provide bigger fuel tanks for us or additional genset to help us keep buffer stock.)

Storm signal number 2 is currently raised over Batanes and the northeastern portions of Cagayan due to the tropical cyclone. Strong winds and intermittent light rains currently prevail in the province, the governor said.

As of 4 p.m., state weather bureau PAGASA said the center of the eye of Betty was last seen 445 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan. It decelerated to 10 kilometers per hour (kph) while moving north-northwestward and is packing maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 190 km/h, and central pressure of 950 hPa. —Sundy Locus/ VAL, GMA Integrated News