Stormy weather, heavy rain behind power outages in Simunjan, Saratok

The power outage in Saratok was caused by a fallen tree which hit an electricity pole.

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KUCHING, Nov 4: Recent power outages in Simunjan and Saratok districts were caused by stormy weather and heavy rain that damaged several electricity poles there.

Sarawak Energy Bhd (Sarawak Energy) in a statement today disclosed the power outages affected customers near Simpang Simunjan and Punda, as well as Kabong, Ulu Krian, Ulu Awik, Kemidan, Temudok, Bajau, Ng Assam, Maludam and surrounding areas in Saratok.

Its regional manager for the western region, Choo Min Chong revealed: “Outages in these two districts are commonly caused by strong winds and heavy rain especially during the wet monsoon season.

“During this period, we have increased our line patrols and identified areas susceptible to supply interruptions to enable us to act swiftly.

“Poor weather conditions will also hamper restoration efforts especially if the situation becomes unsafe for work to proceed.”

Choo noted that customers are more understanding today and becoming more proactive in reporting outages through the Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre hotline or the “SEB cares” mobile app.

“These early reports have contributed to the quick restoration of supply in most cases. We encourage them to continue using these two platforms to report on outages,” Choo added.

To mitigate the frequency of outages in Simunjan, Sarawak Energy is seeking the cooperation of fruit orchard owners for better vegetation management, as some of their trees are located too close to electrical facilities.

The company revealed several letters titled “Unsafe Condition” have been issued to the orchard owners and various efforts to educate them on electrical safety were carried out.

Stormy weather damaged electricity pole in Simunjan, causing a power outage.

At the same time, Sarawak Energy is looking into electrical load splitting from the Munggu Lalang 33/11kilovolt (kV) substation to Simpang Simunjan to enhance electricity supply reliability in the area.

The power utility provider is also in the process of diverting power supply from Balai Ringin to Lachau, which is expected to be completed by December this year.

In Saratok, Sarawak Energy is in the final stage of construction for the line diversion from the 275kV Engkilili substation to the 275kV Serudit substation, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

Other plans by the power utility provider include reducing outages and enhancing supply reliability including utilising the Remote Monitoring System (RMS) to enable quicker response to outages and to minimise losses and inconveniences to customers during an outage.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused. We assure our customers that we will make every effort to restore supply safely as soon as possible.

“During restoration works, some customers may experience intermittent supply interruptions due to system normalisation. This is to ensure that the supply is safe for the line and also to the customers,” Choo added.

Meanwhile, the public is advised to contact the Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111, email or utilise the “SEB cares” mobile app which may be downloaded from the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store, to report any outages, assist in speedy restoration of electricity supply and to get latest updates from the utility company. — DayakDaily