Power utility Visayan Electric warns its customers against flying kites near power lines as this may cause power outages and electrocution.

Assistant Vice President for Engineering Operations Mark Anthony Kindica said Typhoon Odette caused so much damage to the Visayan Electric distribution system that the level of reliability has not been restored to pre-Odette levels.

Restoration and rehabilitation of lines, he added, are still ongoing and any power outage may take longer than usual to restore.

“Kite flying is a Pinoy tradition but it is also a potential hazard when done near power lines. It may cause power outages and even electrocution. As early as mid-January, we already experienced power outages that are caused by kites that got entangled with our power lines,” he said.

Data from Visayan Electric’s Distribution Services Department shows that in 2021, a total of 59 kite-related incidents caused a total of 66.69 hours of power outages in different areas in its franchise.

For 2022, in January alone, 10 kite-related incidents have been recorded, causing a total of 165.63 hours of power outages.

Kindica said kite-flying should only be done in open areas, away from overhead power lines, to ensure the safety of kite-flyers, as well as the uninterrupted supply of electricity.

In Cebu City, City Ordinance 1471 prohibits flying kites near power lines, telecommunication lines and other similar facilities and provides that kite flying should only be done in areas that are 3,000 square
meters big, which is equivalent to six basketball courts.

The remaining open spaces in Cebu City that satisfy the requirements of the ordinance are mostly in mountain barangays and at the South Road Properties.

Visayan Electric also warns against retrieving kites that get caught in power lines. Once a kite gets caught in overhead power lines, release the string immediately and do not pull it or attempt to climb the electric pole to retrieve the kite.

The electric utility also advised against getting inside power substations to retrieve kites.

Kite owners should immediately call Visayan Electric’s 230-8326 hotline or send a
message through its Facebook page so that a crew can be sent to retrieve the kites. ##