Monkey causes power outage in Matu, Daro

A file photo of sightings of monkeys along the 33/11 Daro Substation overhead lines.

MUKAH: A monkey disrupted supply and caused a one-and-a-half-hour power outage for Sarawak Energy’s (SEB) customers in the coastal districts of Matu and Daro at 2.15pm on Monday (May 10).   

However, attempts to rescue the injured monkey failed when it ran off after the technical team arrived on site.

The technical team was alerted by the public that a monkey had been seen on one of the power poles, but when they arrived at the area for restoration and rescue work, the primate managed to escape although it was noticeably injured.

The intrusion was subsequently confirmed as the cause of the outage, after the substation’s transformers tripped as a result of the simian intrusion, causing loss of supply to the area.

Damaged transformer of the substation due to the electrocution of wildlife.

Supply to the affected area was fully restored at 3.46pm.

Sarawak’s transmission and distribution power lines run great distances alongside or through forests, farms and plantations, with wildlife disturbances being a common cause of interruption for rural customers.

“It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone near our electrical facilities and we take this very seriously.

“When an outage occurs due to a fault along these longer rural overhead lines, it might take some time to patrol the affected line and identify the fault, especially when the outage happens at night, under extreme weather, or in areas with difficult terrain,” said Nazry Abdul Latip, SEB central region regional manager, whose area of responsibility included Matu and Daro.

He said that power disruptions caused by wildlife such as monkeys, snakes and squirrels continued to be a challenge faced by SEB’s operations team serving the rural areas and the interior.

“To mitigate the situation, we are planning to have more covered conductors for rural overhead lines,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we still continue to be fully dedicated to minimise interruption time by immediately deploying our technical team who are always on standby to restore supply to our customers after a tripping incident,” assured Nazry.

Customers can contact SEB’s 24/7 Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email customercare@sarawakenergy.com for assistance.

Outages can also be reported through SEB’s mobile app ‘SEB cares’, available on Android’s Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store for IOS.

A file photo of monkeys congregating along the 33/11 Daro Substation overhead lines.