A power outage at a Philippine airport caused nearly 300 domestic and international flights to be canceled or diverted at Manila Airport in the Philippines on Sunday, leaving more than 65,000 passengers stranded during the New Year holiday.

Transport Minister Jaime J. Batista apologized at a press conference tonight for the damage and confirmed that authorities are working to help all affected passengers.

Bautista said the problem started this morning when Air Traffic Control, which monitors all flights in Philippine airspace, lost communications, radio, radar and internet due to a power outage, the Associated Press reported.

In the afternoon, airport management managed to restore order in air traffic, and flights resumed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Officials said they have asked airlines to operate more flights and use more wide-body aircraft to accommodate more passengers, and the airport is expected to fully recover in 72 hours.

Passengers stranded at the airport included businessman Mani Pangilinan, head of telecommunications company PLDT, who said he was on his way to Manila from Tokyo when the power outage occurred.

He wrote on his Twitter account: “We were told that the radar and navigation aids in Ninoy were out of order. I was returning from Tokyo – after a 3 hour flight, but I had to head to Haneda. 6 hours of useless but annoying flight for travelers and the loss for tourism and business is terrible.”

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