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Silence over Saturday power shutdown

The Electric Power Corporation has yet to front questions about why it turned electricity off to much of the town area last Saturday five minutes before giving notice.

On Saturday 30 May, E.P.C. alerted customers via their Facebook page that power would be interrupted from 11am until 6pm, affecting villages from Togafuafua to Papauta. 

The public notice, published on Facebook at 11:05am, was signed by General Manager, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano, dated 30 May. 

Customers in the area, especially in the hospitality and retail sector took to social media to air their concerns, but the Government power provider has yet to answer them publically.

Scalini’s Restaurant owners, Joe and Amanda Lam, did not hold back, starting a hashtag: #theydontcare.

“All we want is better notifications, better communications. A little consideration, but the attitude from EPC is one of arrogance and ignorance. #theydontcare,” they wrote.

Phat Burger owners, Kelly Walker and Kylie Fauchelle were equally unhappy.

“Professionalism at its finest,” Ms. Walker said.

“Too bad for those businesses who have been shopping all morning to fill fridges and freezers that are now useless. Thanks for the notice, as if businesses aren't struggling enough at the moment.”

“Why can't these things be done at night,” Mr. Fauchelle wrote. 

“This is no help to anyone. This is the reason monopolies are a bad idea.”

E.P.C. stated the power shutdown was to install a new transformer in Motootua, and to upgrade high voltage electricity lines.

The Samoa Observer sent questions on the surprise shutdown to the E.P.C. on Tuesday. Despite confirmation that the questions had been received, no answers nor an opportunity for an interview with Tologata were afforded this paper.

Meanwhile a second all-day power shutdown from Vaisigano to Vailele was alerted to the public for Saturday 6 June on Friday morning. This time the letter of notice was dated Thursday 04 June and was shared online that evening. 

This week’s shutdown is also to upgrade high voltage electricity lines. 

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