Tragic Events from around the world

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15/08 2003 - Biggest Blackout in North American History...

Over 50,000,000 people without electricity, from Toronto to New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Ottawa and everywhere in between.

IN NEW YORK a major power outage struck simultaneously across dozens of cities in the eastern United States and Canada late Thursday afternoon.

Cities affected included New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, Toronto and Ottawa, Canada.

In just three minutes, 21 power plants shut down.

It was unclear what caused the outage. The power outage stopped trains, elevators and the normal flow of traffic and life.

New York subways resumed limited service around 8 p.m., according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

It took 2.5 hours to evacuate passengers from stalled subway trains, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

The 21 plants went off line because when the grid is down there is no place for the power output to go. Unlike coal or natural gas, electricity is difficult to store. Power is used as it is generated.

At least 1.5 million people in central and northern New Jersey were without power late Thursday and there was no train service for homebound commuters.

The New York City Police Department said a number of people were trapped in elevators for awhile. Thousands of people left buildings and walked into the streets.

The last big blackout in the United States took place almost exactly seven years ago, August 11, 1996, when some 4 million customers in nine Western states and parts of Mexico lost power for as long as 10 hours.

In 1977, a blackout left some 9 million people in New York City without power for up to 25 hours.

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked America in a series of despicable acts of war. They hijacked four passenger jets, crashed two of them into the World Trade Centre's Twin Towers, a third into the Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defence at the Pentagon, causing great loss of life and tremendous damage. 

The fourth plane crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside, killing all on board but falling well short of its intended target apparently because of the heroic efforts of passengers on board. 

June 11, 2001, 12:25AM  Power failures force hospitals to scramble

Between about 5 a.m. Saturday and about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, nearly 300 volunteers carried Memorial Hermann patients down darkened stairwells and halls to ambulances or helicopters. They used flashlights and other portable lights to find their way in the dimly lit hospital. 


Major power outage hits First Coast 4/29/2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. A fault on two major transmission lines, a fire at a power plant and a generator shutdown combined Monday afternoon to cause about 300,000 local electric customers to lose power.


May 8, 2001  The California Utilities Commission and Southern California Edison are predicting that rolling black-outs may occur on as many as 35 days between May and mid-September……….


20 February 1998 - No power in New Zealand's largest city

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city and the hub of much of the country's commercial activity, plunged into chaos when a sub-contractor accidentally severed the last of four major power cables supplying the area. For several days prior to the failure of the final cable, electricity supplies to the central business district (CBD) had been erratic, with an outage on 19th February resulting in numerous traffic accidents and calls from people trapped in elevators. Only a limited stand-by cable provided power to the city's two main hospitals and other emergency services.

Pandemonium was created, where over 50,000 people work in hundreds of shops and offices. Overheated diesel generators caused at least four fires. Some 6,000 residents were advised to move out until power is restored.

Local officials warned of major health risks in the event of a breakdown of water and sewerage supplies. Auckland University and the city's Polytechnic, due to reopen after the summer holiday, told 24,000 students and staff to stay away. Port of Auckland authorities turned away incoming ships and sent thousands of refrigerated containers with perishable exports such as butter and meat to other ports.

Mercury Energy chairman Jim Macaulay had attempted to mystify the electricity collapse. "It's the most incredible, freakish bad luck you could ever imagine," he said.

A power cut which continued for over a month


Almost simultaneously, in Brisbane (and across the entire Australian state of Queensland), generator breakdowns at four major coal-power stations caused rotating electricity blackouts of one to two hours. Raw sewage spilled into drains and rivers, cars crashed as traffic lights stopped, and shops, offices and schools were thrown into turmoil…………

Malaysia ….A third nationwide power blackout  this decade. Malaysia  1992 Black September nationwide power blackout………….

BLACKOUT WARNING GIVEN IN ILLINOIS -- Commonwealth Edison, serving northern and central Illinois, cannot guarantee reliable power this summer and could impose blackouts if one of its power plants fails during a heat wave.


LOS ANGELES,  - California suffered its second consecutive day of State-wide blackouts yesterday as consumers turned up their power hungry air conditioners amid scorching temperatures, ignoring pleas for conservation, causing power cuts to some 300,000 homes and businesses. 

ISO officials warned, however, that continued hot weather and tight power supplies threaten to create havoc on the grid again today.



In San Francisco, the fire department was called to rescue at least one woman trapped in an elevator while in southern California television stations reported a dentist was forced to send home a patient in the middle of treatment.   



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