Monkey causes power outage in Matu and Daro, long rural power lines vulnerable to wildlife disturbance

Sightings of monkeys along the 33/11 Daro Substation overhead lines. File photo supplied.

KUCHING, May 11: A monkey disrupted the electricity supply and caused a one-and-a-half hour power outage for Sarawak Energy’s customers in the coastal districts of Matu and Daro.

However, attempts to rescue the injured monkey failed when it ran off after the technical team arrived on site.

Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) in a press statement today said at 2.15pm yesterday, customers in Matu and Daro experienced a power interruption.

The technical team was alerted by the public that a monkey had been seen on one of the power poles but when they arrived at the area for restoration and rescue work, the monkey had managed to escape although it was noticeably injured.

The intrusion was subsequently confirmed as the cause of the outage, after the substation’s transformers tripped as a result of the similar intrusion causing loss of supply to the area.

Sarawak Energy said power supply to the affected area was fully restored at 3.46pm.

Monkeys congregating along the 33/11 Daro Substation overhead lines. File photo supplied.

The energy provider revealed the State’s transmission and power distribution ran great distances alongside or through forests, farms and plantations with wildlife disturbances a common cause of interruption for rural customers.

“It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone near our electrical facilities and we take this very seriously.

“When an outage occurs due to a fault along these longer rural overhead lines, it might take some time to patrol the affected line and identify the fault especially when the outage happens at night, under extreme weather or areas with difficult terrain,” said Sarawak Energy central region regional manager Nazry Abdul Latip, whose area of responsibility includes Matu and Daro.

“Power disruptions caused by wildlife such as monkeys, snakes and squirrels continued to be a challenge faced by our operations team serving the rural areas and the interior.

“To mitigate the situation, we are planning to have more covered conductors for rural overhead lines.

“Nevertheless, we still continue to be fully dedicated to minimise interruption time by immediately deploying our technical team who are always on standby to restore supply to our customers after a tripping incident,” Nazry explained.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy said customers may contact its 24/7 Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email for assistance.

Power outages can also be reported through Sarawak Energy’s mobile app “SEB cares”, available on Android’s Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store for IOS. — DayakDaily