Around the world, darkly

2008-02-21 00:00

Power outages are not exclusively the domain of South Africa and other developing countries. A morning spent googling and delving into Wikipedia has enlightened me on the global extent (and complexity) of power outages. Wikipedia has a list of “famous wide-scale power outages” that occurred between 1965 and 2008 that skips effortlessly across continents. The list includes First World cities such as New York, London, San Franscisco and Auckland, and countries such as Sweden and France, as well as developing countries such as Brazil.

On June 12, 2006, Auckland had a blackout that lasted many hours, caused by a grounding cable falling across the feeder, apparently caused by “the failure of a corroded shackle, as the result of unusually high winds” (Wikipedia). The power went off at about 8.30 am local time and was restored to Auckland’s CBD at 12.40 pm and to other affected areas by 2.45 pm.

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