THE power outage across northern and western Mindanao was due to the failure of a transmission line in Lanao del Norte, which the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) blamed Tuesday on thieves who targeted a section of a transmission line in the area, tripping the Agus 5-Aurora 138-kilovolt line.

In a statement, the NGCP said that the blackout affected customers of Zamboanga del Sur I Electric Cooperative; Zamboanga del Sur II Electric Cooperative; Misamis Occidental I Electric Cooperative; Misamis Occidental II Electric Cooperative; Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative; Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative; and Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative.

Late Monday, the NGCP said in a statement that a tower on the Balo-i-Aurora segment of the line in Lanao del Norte had fallen due to the “intentional pilferage of transmission line parts.”

This caused power to go out Monday morning across the Zamboanga peninsula, Misamis Occidental and parts of Lanao del Norte.

“With the tripping of the Agus 5-Aurora line, both lines serving the Northwestern Mindanao area are out,” the NGCP said Tuesday.

“NGCP is working to restore the line as it continues investigating the cause of the outage. Coordination is being done with local authorities and several leads are already being looked into. Updates will be provided once available,” NGCP added.

The system operator also appealed to the public, local and national governments, and local community leaders to help in identifying the “perpetrators.” — Angelica Y. Yang