PG&E to shut off power to 605,000 Californians on Tuesday

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-29 12:11:51|Editor: Li Xia
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a main electricity power supplier in California, announced Monday evening that it will conduct a new round of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)from Tuesday.

The move, which will impact a total of 605,000 customers in portions of 29 counties across the state, is scheduled to last till Thursday. The company said it is a measure designed to reduce the threat of wildfires that could be sparked by lines brought down in gusting winds.

In the latest precautionary round of power outrage starting from on Saturday, about 970,000 customers across 37 counties in the Golden State were affected, according to PG&E. More than 325,000 customers just had their power restored as of 4:30 pm local time (2330 GMT) Monday after it was shut off two days ago.

However, the company warned "it is possible that customers impacted by the Oct. 26 PSPS could be part of the Oct. 29 shutoff," and "it's also possible that power restoration for some customers impacted by the Oct. 26 shutoff will not be complete before the next safety shutoff must begin."

The company said it must inspect more than 32,000 miles (51,488 km) of power lines before fully restoring power every time.

PG&E's efforts were criticized harshly by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said the company must take responsibility for the wildfires that the local residents have been suffering for years and the power cuts.

The California utility company is under increasing scrutiny by regulatory authorities since sparks from aging or overtaxed utility equipment have been blamed for some of California's most disastrous wildfires recently.

To date, six of the most devastating blazes in California's history were triggered by electrical equipment malfunction, including the brutal Camp fire in 2018 that wiped out the mountain town of Paradise, killing 86 residents.

While the cause of the burning Kincade fire in Sonoma county, first reported Wednesday night and exploded to 66,000 acres (267.1 square km) Monday evening, has not been determined, the PG&E reported a problem with a transmission tower near the spot where the fire was ignited.