Dededo Power Station Outage Leaves Guam In The

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Structure fire at station, public reported seeing flashes of

By Oyaol Ngirairikl

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, June 7, 2013) – After a bright flash of light, the neighborhood -- and the entire island of Guam -- went dark.

That's how Nathaniel Salii, 18, of Latte Heights described last night's power outage.

Salii was at a cousin's house when they saw a bright light flashing in the distance for a good five minutes.

"I don't know if it was a fire or what it was, but it went really, really bright and then it was out," Salii said.

Art Perez, power spokesman, said the Dededo station went down shortly after 10 p.m., and was the start of a series of reactions that affected other parts of the power system.

At 10:50 p.m., the outage was island-wide, Perez confirmed.

The Guam Fire Department received a call about 10:30 p.m. about a possible structure fire at the Guam Power Authority's Dededo power substation last night near the BMW dealership.

Lt. Ed Artero, the Guam Fire Department's spokesman, said the fire was limited to the exterior of the substation. As of 11:30 p.m., firefighters still were battling the flames. No injuries were reported.

Earlier last night, Roger and Jemimah Martinez were at the Jesus Baptist Church parking lot, which is on Bello Road, a cliffline area overlooking part of Dededo, when they saw the lights.

"It was crazy. It was about three-and-a-half minutes of what we first thought were fireworks, but it wasn't anywhere near Tumon or Tiyan... where the fireworks usually are," Roger Martinez said. "There was a series of flashes, different colors, red, orange, yellow... the colors of the spectrum. I realized it was coming from near Dededo, along Marine Corps Drive or something. So I figured it had to be the power station. And then the power went off. I thought, 'Yup, that must have been it.'"

He added that members of a youth group, who were also at the church, "were all freaking out."

"The kids didn't know if it was a bomb, or fireworks that went bad or something," he said.

Police officers shut down Marine Corps Drive near the Dededo substation shortly before 11 p.m. Officers were near the Marine Corps Drive and Ysengsong Road intersection, diverting traffic to Ysengsong Road and Bartulo Street.

[PIR editor's note: Marianas Variety Guam reported that by 1AM, Guam Power Authority spokesman Art Perez said 70 percent of the island had power.]

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