POWER in areas affected by the sudden collapse of six electric utility poles was restored on Friday morning, approximately 22 hours after the incident took place.
Religious services and offices at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, Manila, returned to normal after their power was restored.
“Alleluia! May ilaw na po. Bukas na ulit ang ating church & parish office. Balik na tayo sa normal sched (Hallelujah! We now have power. Our church and parish office are open once again. Our schedule is now back to normal),” an announcement on the church’s Facebook page read on Friday.
Churchgoers were advised to take necessary precautions when going to the church, especially when passing through the church’s Ongpin Street side.
The church had to cancel its 5 p.m. Mass on Thursday because of the incident although the church administration clarified that the church and the convent have separate power lines.
Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times newsletters
Power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco), however, had to cut off electricity in the area as linemen arrived to repair the damage.
The Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau temporarily shut down the area for motorists, but was declared passable at 7:20 p.m. that same evening.
The City Engineer’s Office of Manila confirmed that the six fallen Meralco posts in Binondo have been reinstalled as of 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
City Engineer Arman Andres said power has also been restored and that his office has also inspected all electrical poles in the city.
Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to investigate the incident.
Abalos also instructed BFP Director Louie Puracan to coordinate with Meralco, assist affected individuals and help in clearing the area.
At least three persons were injured while eight parked vehicles were damaged when seven electrical poles along Ongpin Street collapsed around 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Those injured were immediately taken to the hospital, the Manila Public Information Office said.
The cause of the incident was not immediately determined.
Joe Zaldarriaga, head of Meralco’s Corporate Communications, said they are still conducting an investigation of the incident over which Meralco asked for understanding.
Meralco Manila Sector team leader and engineer Joseph David said they had replaced the toppled posts.
David added that they had coordinated with the owners of the damaged vehicles as Meralco will pay for the repairs.
WITH REPORTS FROM CLAIRE BERNADETTE MONDARES AND FRANCIS EARL CUETO