Philippine province goes dark due to unpaid bill

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 9:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An entire province in the Philippines has been plunged into darkness after the national power grid operator cut off supply because of accumulated debt of $93 million.

The blackout that started Tuesday surprised residents of Albay province in the central Philippines with a population of 1.2 million.

Health insurance company employee Cristie Recebido says the electricity operator issued no prior warning. She says that streets in the provincial capital Legazpi were cloaked in darkness. Shops closed up early and hospitals and offices are running on generators.

The Department of Energy says a disconnection notice had been served to the Albay Electric Cooperative because it failed to settle a debt of nearly 4 billion pesos ($93 million) over 15 years.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda says he's working to resolve the problem.

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