Meralco: Brace for ‘Pepito,’ check electricals

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

As Pepito is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains across the various provinces in the Philippines, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said today in a statement that it is gearing all efforts to prepare its systems and personnel to immediately respond to power outages that may result from Tropical Storm Pepito.

Meralco Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications Joe Zaldarriaga said, “As a 24–hour service company, we are committed to respond to these types of emergencies. Our crews are on standby to attend to any trouble that may affect our facilities in areas that might be hit by the tropical storm.”

Zaldarriaga added that Meralco has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the possible impact of Tropical Storm Pepito. The company, for example, has continued to issue advisories on the appropriate precautionary measures to take before a typhoon. “Meralco, for instance, has consistently requested billboard owners and operators to temporarily roll their billboards up to prevent these structures from being toppled by the strong winds,” Zaldarriaga said. Billboards that fall into electrical facilities are among the main reasons for power outages whenever there are strong winds.

Apart from these measures, Meralco also gave safety tips on using electrical devices and appliances in case there will be flooding.

  • Ensure that the main electrical power switch or circuit breaker is off. Be sure to be dry at all times while being in contact with any electrical facility;
  • Unplug appliances from wall sockets. Turn off permanently connected equipment and unscrew all light bulbs if possible;
  • Remove mud and dirt from service equipment or main circuit breaker/fuse and its enclosure using rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes;
  • Make sure that all electrical wires, connectors, and other wiring devices are completely dry, and;
  • When all electrical wires and accessories have dried and are clean, the wiring system of all appliances must be checked by a licensed electrician. Do not turn on flood-damaged electrical appliances.

According to PAG-ASA, the tropical storm Pepito is set to bring light to moderate and at times heavy rains will be experienced in Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro, Northern Mindanao, and the rest of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA. This will include flashfloods, and rain-induced landslides  especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

Zaldarriaga also urged the public to keep all channels of communication open and ready. This includes charging their mobile phones, laptops, radios, and other communication gadgets. Customers may tune in to the different public service radio stations should power interruptions occur.

He added that the Meralco Call Center will be ready to accept customer concerns. Customers may get in touch via Meralco Facebook page (www.facebook.com/meralco) and Twitter account (@meralco). They may also text their concerns to 0920-9716211 (Smart), 0917-5516211 (Globe), and 0925-7716211 (Sun) or contact Meralco Call Center at 16211 and 8631-1111.

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