Blackout caused by damage to underground cables

MIRI: Underground cables damaged during excavation work by a utility contractor caused the blackout which left residents in Desa Bahagia and Vista Perdana without electricity for over 24 hours.

Communication Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin who held a meeting on the matter with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) yesterday said two

underground cables were damaged.

The electricity supply to Vista Perdana SPNB housing areas was disrupted since 4.30pm yesterday (Wednesday).

Two underground cables were badly damaged and SEB has to lay two new underground cables. The work is still in progress and scheduled to be completed by this evening, he said.

Lee viewed the matter seriously as it affected an estimated 800 households.

He warned any contractors carrying out ground work to follow the correct procedure to avoid similar incidents.

Contractors doing excavation works on roadsides or in areas where there are public utilities should get clearance from the relevant authorities before excavating, he said.

He warned that stern action would be taken against contractors who fail to follow procedures and caused problems to people or public utilities.

Before the contractors start work, there are documentation and localities plans as well as procedures for them to follow. Failing to follow procedures is the cause of this unfortunate incident, he said.

Meanwhile, SEB Regional Manager Choo Min Chong said SEB regrets the inconvenience caused and has lodged a police report.

They will also take action against the contractors.

Also present at the meeting yesterday were chairman of Permyjaya Resident Committee, Councillor Ernest Goh.

After the meeting, Lee visited the affected area to see the damage done and the ongoing repair work.