Meralco on alert for Tropical Storm Nina, releases safety tips

Meralco posts increase in electricity charges for November

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) yesterday said its personnel are on alert as it expects tropical storm Nina to make landfall on Christmas Day.

“As we prepare for Typhoon Nina to land on Christmas Day, our crews are on standby to attend to any trouble that may affect our facilities in areas that might be hit by the typhoon,” Meralco said in a statement.

Nina, with the international name Nock-Ten, is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on December 25 and may hit some parts of Metro Manila and other regions.

Meralco’s franchise area covers over six million commercial and residential customers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and parts of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

“Meralco has consistently requested billboard owners and operators to temporarily roll their billboards up to prevent these structures from being toppled by the strong winds,” Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said.

He said collapsed billboards that fall into electrical facilities is one of the main reasons for power outages during strong typhoons.

The power distributor is encouraging consumers to follow these safety tips when using electrical devices and appliances in case of flooding:

  • Ensure the main electrical power switch or circuit breaker is off. Be sure to keep dry at all times while in contact with any electrical facility;
  • Unplug appliances from wall sockets. Turn off permanently-connected equipment and unscrew all lightbulbs if possible;
  • Remove mud and dirt from service equipment or main circuit breaker/fuse and its enclosure using rubber gloves and rubber soled shoes;
  • Make sure all electrical wires, connectors and other wiring devices are completely dry; and
  • The wiring system of all appliances must be checked by a licensed electrician. Do not turn on flood-damaged electrical appliances.

The Meralco spokesman added that the public should “keep all channels of communication open and ready” and ensure that all mobile phones, laptops, radios and other communication gadgets are charged.

“Customers may get in touch with the Call Center at 16211 in cases of emergency, or visit Meralco’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account for regular updates,” Zaldarriaga said.

Customers may contact 0920-9716211(SMART)/ 0917-5516211(GLOBE)/ 0925-7716211 (SUN).