Excavation work led to electricity outage in northern Sarawak, says SEB

KUCHING: A power outage that affected parts of Lawas in northern Sarawak last week was caused by damaged cables from excavation work by a contractor, says Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB).

It said the excavation on March 28 damaged three underground cables along Jalan Lawas-Damit, disrupting power supply to New Lawas Centre, Taman Kaya Indah, Limpaki, Long Tuma, Natad Musu, Tang Itong, Pa Kepulu and surrounding areas.

"Due to the severity of damage sustained by the cables, these areas experienced a prolonged outage as the cables had to be replaced, while additional manpower from Limbang was deployed to expedite repair works," SEB said in a statement on Thursday (April 4).

A technical team was dispatched upon receiving the report at 3.15pm on March 28 and supply was fully restored at 8.05pm on March 29.

Following this incident, the state utility company warned all contractors that they must check with SEB first before starting excavation works to mitigate safety risks and prevent potential legal action.

SEB northern region manager Mohammad Saiful Misi expressed disappointment at the contractor's negligence and warned that stern action would be taken against the responsible party.

"We have repeatedly engaged with third-party contractors to inform them to reach out to us to identify underground cables before starting any excavation.

"In addition to warning letters sent to those responsible, contractors who damage our facilities will bear the costs of damage," he said.

In this case, he added, SEB was considering legal action to underscore its commitment to addressing this matter seriously.

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