JAKARTA (RambuEnergy) – The state-owned electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and state energy company PT Pertamina have been working around the clock to revive electricity and fuel supply in the Palu, Donggala and the surrounding areas that have been struck by 7.4 RS earthquake and tsunami. The electricity is crucial in the relief efforts, in particularly by hospitals to treat those injured by the collapsed buildings and telecommunications for making the relief efforts smoothened.
The 7.4 RS earthquake on late Friday (Sep 28), which was followed by the tsunami and soil liquefaction, has killed over 1,000 people, damaged buildings and in some areas, houses were sucked by mud due to soil liquefaction. The earthquake has also damaged power grids and distribution system, causing the Palu and Donggala city to be without electricity at night.
As requested by President Joko Widodo, PLN has immediately sent officers from nearby areas to help revive the electricity supply in the earthquake-hit region.
As of Oct. 2, PLN said that Palu’s electricity supply was still being revived. Around 20% of the electricity supply has been recovered. Director for Corporate Planning of PLN Syfvi Felienty Roekman told reporters that the biggest challenge in the recovery process was the problem of its Interbus transformers (IBT), an equipment to adjust electricity flow.
To speed up the electricity recovery, PLN has sent 90 power generators since Sunday and would be sent within three days. The recovery process of electricity in Palu and Donggala was supervised and led by Director of PLN for Sulawesi Region, Syamsul Huda.
As of Wednesday, 30% of the Palu city has been covered by the electricity, said Director of PLN for Sulawesi Region Syamsul Huda. He said electricity supply has been resumed to Balai Keselamatan Hospital, Red Cross, state-owned Radio (RRI) and certain areas.
The power generators were sent to lighten up the tents in Palu and Donggala, where people are being evacuated as well as shopping areas in Jalan Gadjah Mada to help revive the economic activities in the Palu city.
Minister for Communication and Informatics Rudiantara said the partial recovery of electricity has helped recover the base transceiver stations (BTS), resulting in 49% recovery of BTS in the Central Sulawesi. This also helps the people to communicate with their families and also help speed up the relief efforts.
The earthquake and tsunami have damaged the power grid and electricity distribution system in the province as well as damage telecom towers.
PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has provided ten locations in Palu where people can have free wi-fi access.
The earthquake and tsunami have also damaged gas stations (SPBU). Pertamina has sent a special team to Palu and Donggala to repair its SPBUs as well as fuel terminal in Donggala. On Sunday, Pertamina also began sending trucks carrying 400,000 litres of fuel from outside Palu and Donggala. The trucks arrived on Monday.
The fuel is needed by power generators, National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Disaster centres, military, Police and others in the relief and rescue efforts. Pertamina has also delivered fuel via air tractor aircraft to Palu since Monday (Oct. 1).
On Sunday, people were seen stopping a Pertamina fuel truck to get fuel. However, on Wednesday, people have been line up orderly to get fuel. Pertamina said 10 fuel stations (SPBUs) have resumed operation as of Wednesday (Oct 3).
A powerful earthquake with magnitude 7.7 strength which was later updated by the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency: BMKG (BMKG) to a magnitude of 7.4 has hit the territory of Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi on late Friday (Sep. 28) at 17.02 WIB or 18.02 local time.
The epicentre of the earthquake was 10 km on 27 km east of the Donggala Sea, Central Sulawesi. BMKG immediately activated tsunami early warning with Alert status (high potential tsunami 0.5 – 3 meters) on the western Donggala coast, and Waspada status (tsunami potential height of less than 0.5 meters) on northern Donggala coast, northern Mamuju and West Palu City. (*)
Written by Staff Writer,
Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (firstname.lastname@example.org)