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SOCALGAS ASKS CUSTOMERS TO BE PATIENT; UTILITY'S PHONE LINES DAMAGED BY QUAKE

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ - The Southern California Gas Co. reports that most of its incoming phone lines are inoperable because of a technical problem as a result of the earthquake. The utility is asking customers to be patient and call only for emergencies. Calls for "routine" service, such as appliance adjustments, cannot be processed at this time.
 The company reports that overall the system of 44,000 miles of pipeline has well withstood the 6.6 earthquake. The utility estimates that about 20,000 gas customers are without service, primarily because of structural or pipeline damage which must be repaired before gas can be restored. The Gas Co. serves 16 million people through 4.7 million meters. The Gas Co. has about 1,700 service personnel working to repair pipeline damage and restore service. Employees were brought into the Los Angeles area from company bases as far north as Visalia, Calif., and south from Imperial County.
 Outages and damage to the gas system were concentrated in the northwest portion of Los Angeles County -- San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and West Los Angeles. Four transmission pipelines and about 250 service and distribution lines sustained damage.
 The company announced it will waive bills for any of its customers whose residences are uninhabitable because of damage caused by Monday's major earthquake. There is no estimate on how many customers fall into this category.
 -0- 1/18/94
 /CONTACT: Denise King, 213-244-3030/


CO: Southern California Gas Co. ST: California IN: OIL SU:

JM-LS -- LA021 -- 2898 01/18/94 15:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1994
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