NEWS

Lightning Strikes Power Line Fire, Causes Outage

A staff member of Ed’s Bar in Martintar, Nadi said a flash of lightning struck a powerline, setting it on fire. It resulted in an outage in the entire area.
06 Jan 2017 11:00
Lightning Strikes Power Line Fire, Causes Outage
FEA line mechanic Sanjay Singh working attending to the power line that was struck by lightning at Martintar, Nadi yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A staff member of Ed’s Bar in Martintar, Nadi said a flash of lightning struck a powerline, setting it on fire. It resulted in an outage in the entire area.

“It was a scary experience as it was a big firework and was not able to be doused off by the heavy rain,” Iliesa Tuilau said.

Fiji Electricity Authority chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel said the outage in Martintar was caused by a broken overhead conductor.

“I have found out the cause. An overhead conductor broke causing an unplanned power outage in that area,” Mr Patel said.

Full power was restored later.

Mr Tuilau said there was fire for about 20 minutes on the power pole, despite the rain

He was with the rest of staff outside when the lighting struck overlooking the Fiji Gas depot.

“We watched in awe, and I could not think of anything else at that point in time. Vehicles on the road continued to move as they also watched the fire,” he said.

According to him, there was a big explosion, then the cable was severed and dropped down onto the ground. No one was hurt.

Mohammed Tazim Ali, a consultant of Property Experts, said: “I wished it did not happen here, it would have been disastrous in the area, but lucky it remained up there and went off, but the explosion was another thing.”

Martintar residence Ronnie Chang said they had a power blackout because of the incident.

When the Fiji Sun visited the site, a team of FEA line workers deployed to restore the power.

Other power outages which caused long traffic jams on roads yesterday became a concern for most drivers.

A taxi driver, who wish to remain anonymous, said: “This is the time when most accidents happen. But we are always careful since the traffic lights are not operating.

“Drivers too need to be patient.”

Mr Patel clarified that the power outage was because of the lightning strikes.

“The recent power outages experienced in Viti Levu have been caused by lightning strikes on our main 132,000 volts transmission line that runs from Wailoa Power Station to Suva and Lautoka,” he said.

He said during the rainy season between December and April, such outages are expected depending on the frequency and severity of the lightning strikes.

“The FEA sincerely apologies for the inconvenience caused to all our customers but such outages are beyond our control,” Mr Patel said.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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