Wednesday, August 1, 2012

620 million Hit By Largest Ever Power Outage

Nearly 620 million are without power in India after three regional power grids collapsed today. The power outage marks the largest ever blackout in world history.

India, which has always had a stressed infrastructure, now can not provide power to more than half the country.

Hundreds of trains stalled and traffic lights went out, causing huge traffic jams in New Delhi. Emergency workers are also rushing to save coal miners who are trapped underground without electricity to get them out.

The power outage has raised concerns about India’s government to meet the economic needs of its people. India’s Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reported to USA Today that the crisis was the fault of states using more than their allotted amount of electricity.

"Everyone overdraws from the grid. Just this morning I held a meeting with power officials from the states and I gave directions that states that overdraw should be punished. We have given instructions that their power supply could be cut," Shinde said.

The power outage is affecting 620 million people across 20 of India’s 28 states. That amounts to double the population of the United States.

India is prone to regular power outages, however they have never experienced something as widespread. However, many citizens are familiar with the situation and use backup generators. Major hospitals and airports are using backup power sources.

Reportedly, power was later restored to the northeast part of India however, it went down again.

The blackout also coincides with the country’s deadline to file your tax return. Many Indians were worried that they would now miss the deadline due to lack of electricity and transportation. The government has since extended the deadline an extra month.

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