PUC restores power quickly after lines wrecked by strong winds


06-January-2013

The very strong winds are believed to be linked to the cyclone Dumile which lashed Reunion island at around the same time, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

PUC chief executive Philippe Morin said by the morning of December 31, most parts of north Mahe and certain other areas were out of supply.

  The winds were of such high velocity that branches fell on power lines almost everywhere. “The damage was really extensive,” he said.

Mr Morin said after assessing the damage, PUC deployed all its human and other resources to restore supply on the main transmission and distribution lines.

He said priority was also given to the PUC water pumps as they are needed to pump water all over Mahe.

Medical establishments also received high priority. Mr Morin said within 48 hours, PUC had completed all necessary repairs and power was restored everywhere by January 2.

He said that on the first day – December 31 – some 70 PUC personnel were involved and this increased to about 100 for the second and third days.

  Tree fellers from the Department of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM) were brought in to cut branches obstructing power lines following which tree felling contractors were also called to help.

Mr Morin said that contractors with expertise in overhead lines also came in to help in the repair works.

“I am satisfied that PUC brought in all its resources and restored power within a short time,” said Mr Morin.

Mr Morin added that, however, he was aware of complaints by some members of the public who tried to contact PUC when power was cut off and got no response. 

“It is obvious that the sheer number of phone calls overwhelmed the system,” he said.

Mr Morin said alerts were broadcast by Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) radio and television up to three times daily.

“There is absolutely scope for improvement. Maybe, members of the public were not sufficiently aware of what was happening,” he said.

He noted that in most other places hit by high winds where power lines are broken, electricity is not restored until several days, adding that this was the case in Reunion. 

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