Sunday, September 22

Stray bullets a cause of power supply woes in rural areas

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KUCHING: Damage due to gunshots has been found to be among the causes of supply interruption in the rural areas, where a total of 116 cases have been recorded since 2011, says Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

As such, the corporation calls upon members of the public not to shoot at or near overhead power lines, especially when hunting.

The SEB technical team discovers the damaged overhead line, with a shotgun pellet still lodged in it.

SEB reminds all that shooting in the vicinity of power lines is dangerous and the bullets may hit the cables, causing them to break which could pose high risk of serious injuries or fatality due to electrocution.

Citing an incident that occurred early this month at Pelugau off Jalan Sibu-Bintulu as an example, SEB said the overhead lines were damaged by a stray bullet, believed to have been discharged during a hunting trip – affecting electricity supply to four transformers.

The incident led to intermittent supply interruptions experienced by the residents of 20 longhouses in the area on that day.

The SEB was notified of the supply interruption at 5.45pm and it immediately isolated the fault area to restore supply to most of the affected longhouses, but the supply could not be restored to 50 customers in four other longhouses affected by the damaged line, namely Rumah Encharang, Rumah Dian, Rumah Wilson and Rumah Gama.

SEB deployed a 300kVA mobile generator set to provide temporary supply, before successfully reconnecting to the grid at 9am on the following day.

During fault investigation, puncture marks were found on the wire and shotgun pellets were still lodged
in it.

“SEB is continuously educating the communities on the dangers posed by these incidents.

“The people are reminded that electricity wires are live and must be treated as such even in power outage situations. In any situation, fallen electricity wires are not to be touched, and a safe distance of 5m, or 15 feet, away from the wires must be maintained,” said the corporation in a statement.

Customers aware of any shots fired at or near overhead lines, or who noticed any damaged electrical facility, are advised to contact SEB Customer Care Centre via 1-300-88-3111, or email to [email protected] for assistance.

Outages can also be reported through mobile app ‘SEB cares’, which can be downloaded from Android’s Google Play Store, as well as the Apple App Store for iOS.