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Earth blamed for power cut

Tuesday September 05, 2017 Written by Published in Environment

An hour-long power shortage that affected parts of the island on Saturday evening is thought to have been caused by earth movement.

Te Aponga Uira media liaison officer, Trevor Pitt said the distribution network experienced the fault on Saturday evening around 8pm.

“The power outage affected the Avatiu area to the Ruaau meeting house in Arorangi.

“However power was restored within an hour,” Pitt said.

Night club goers were left dancing in the silent dark after the outage reached popular bars such as On the Rocks and Hula Bar.

A visiting Aucklander who was experiencing Rarotonga nightlife for the first time said the outage came as quite a shock, leaving masses of people thinking of alternative ways to spend their night.

“One minute we were enjoying a wee boogie and the next we were left standing in awkward silence as all the lights dimmed and the music cut out,” Grace Phillips said.

“Quite a number of people made their way out of the bar, others decided to wait it out till the power came back on, eventually it did and everyone was back to dancing as if nothing had happened.”

The outage also prompted plenty of questions on social media networks as to whether the entire island was affected by the outage.

Te Aponga Uira network engineering technicians could be seen beginning cable testing on the feeder lines effected by the fault yesterday.

“Underground diagnostics on a cable area near Inave was the main focus throughout the day,” Pitt said.

“There is a process of testing that we must follow in order to narrow down and pinpoint cable faults before digging can begin. 

“High Voltage (HV) cable underground is susceptible to pressures and movement, particularly the downward forces from heavy traffic. 

“Over time, degradation from movement in the earth, and moisture, can affect the cable irrespective of its age,” Pitt explained.

“When the TAU tests satisfy the specifics of location, the remedial work will commence.”

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