STAFF representing the owners of Chungking Mansions are seeking police protection following volatile scenes outside their office yesterday as the building's power crisis reached Manila-like proportions. Jubilation over the return of a full electricity supply on Tuesday was shortlived when the mansions plunged into darkness about noon. About 70 Indian and Pakistani traders, restaurant owners and shopkeepers stormed into the management office at 2 pm when it became apparent that promises of immediate repair had been broken. Amid shouting, stomping and fist waving, the owner's representative, Mr Chan, explained that a new device installed as part of $500,000-worth of repairs to the main switchboard, would automatically shut the power off as soon as the building's tangled wiring became overloaded. ''We must then give the system a rest and wait for someone qualified to come and turn it back on, but it will be shut down again as soon as the demand gets too great,'' Mr Chan said. ''The people must understand that they will have to change their ways if they want to live in a safe building with a normal power supply. They will just have to learn to use more batteries.'' Mr Chan said he was only an employee and now feared for his life, especially under the new on-and-off-again regime. ''We are all in this together and it's just a matter of time and patience but some of these people are crazy. It's a great burden on my mind . . . I need police help and will be talking to them about this.'' Police, who vowed to step-up patrols through the crisis, were nowhere to be seen. Power returned at about 2.30 pm with much of four of the building's five blocks kept without electricity to try to avoid another shutdown. Shabbir Shah, a Yau Tsim District Board member and prominent Pakistani who was called in to pacify yesterday's mob, said: ''This is worse than it was before, first it's on, then it's not, how can you run a restaurant like this. ''I can't control all these men, many of whom are losing thousands of dollars in rotten food and bad business.'' Mr Shah demanded meetings with the owners' committee about a long-term solution and further improvements to the building's wiring. More than 5,000 people are said to live in the enclave of seedy guesthouses and cut-rate dining halls.