HEAVY RAIN CUTS POWER IN PNG’S MADANG

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 24) – Madang was without power yesterday as heavy rain brought down two pylons carrying power from Ramu Hydro.

PNG Power reported that two transmission line towers between Ramu Sugar and Madang collapsed yesterday, leaving Madang without electricity.

Electricity supply to the town was cut at 8:45 a.m. 

Acting CEO of PNG Power Lawrence Solomon said the power problem in Madang was compounded by the failure to start the diesel generators at the Madang Power Station.

Mr Solomon said the company has located the fault on the transmission line with the help of a helicopter, which was used to speed up the line patrol.

He said a full assessment is being carried out to determine the best course of action to restore power supply from Ramu as the collapse of the two towers represents a major repair job.

He said it may take up to a week to restore power from Ramu, but that depended on the ability of the technicians to quickly move materials into the affected areas.

Power was partially restore in Madang last night using diesel generators, but with its limited capacity, load shedding will continue until power from Ramu is restored.

Meanwhile, reports from Ramu suggest a bridge linking Ramu with Madang has been damaged, cutting off the road into Madang.

There have been reports of heavy rain and flooding in the area, but a Ramu Sugar employee contacted last night said he was not sure if the flood had damaged the bridge.

"I can say that traffic is not flowing into Madang as of last night (Sunday night). Passengers on PMVs heading to Madang are getting off, so there is a problem. The bridge affected I am told is situated past Brahman and the Usino junction," the employee said.

March 24, 2004

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