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ASPA cites unusual reason for Thanksgiving Day power outage

ASPA’s CEO Utu Abe Malae has apologized to Tualauta residents who experienced a power outage on Thanksgiving Day. In response to Samoa News queries, Utu said the high voltage conductors and insulator at the corner of the PX store in Tafuna shorted and caused Feeder 7 to trip.


The sound of an explosion was heard by a passerby and reported to ASPA.


He said the drizzly rain had caused the short because salt had collected on the insulators and conductors. After a long period without heavy rain in that particular area, salty water drippings bridged the insulators and the conductors.


The affected areas were from the Tafuna Power Plant to Ottoville, Kokoland; the Airport area & OMV.


Utu said, “The first half of Feeder 7 was out for 56 minutes; the second half for 1 hour, 30 minutes.” 


He spoke of preventive measures which must be taken: replace insulators with higher voltage rated ones (i.e., over design) and wash down the power lines with water, as is done in places like Florida where there is also salt spray.”


Utu said this kind of outage is a rare occurrence—it was not on account of a car running into a power pole, tree branches touching conductors or problems with generators at the power plant.