Chile: Santiago electric substation outage 2/29, overloaded transformer explodes while Y2k watchgroup monitors : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

(This was translated from Spanish to English using Alta Vista's online translator. Words that didn't translate correctly the first time, I resubmitted in the translator or had to guess their meaning. See words in [...] brackets)

Santiago, Chile, Tuesday February 29, 2000

OF TEN TO TWENTY MINUTES: Court of Light in Sector It orients

A cut of light of around ten minutes took place last night in the sector orients of the capital due to a fault of sub station You walk, after taking place the explosion of a transformer of electrical energy in the population Andean Hope, located in the sector of Greece Avenue with the Gorge, in the commune of Pe6nalolin.

The problem left part of the Counts, 6Nu6noa, Reina and Pe6nalolin from the 22:27 in the dark.

Two people were with slight burns and firemen indicated that the fact took place due to the overload of the transformer.

The injured ones were identified like Sergio the Echeverrias of 52 years of age and Sergio Munos of 25, who were taken until the Central Slug.

Chilectra informed that the provision began to recover partially from the 22:34, but the sector returned to complete normality to 22:40.

At the time of the explosion, in the company one was operating a special turn, of one hundred people, to come up and to detect any problem derived from call Y2K. Last night was one of the dates in which, according to experts, the computacionales [computational?] systems could fail due to the computers could not be prepared to recognize the 2000 like a leap year year.

The Electronic Mercury, Chile



Santiago de Chile, Martes 29 de Febrero de 2000

DE DIEZ A VEINTE MINUTOS: Corte de Luz en Sector Oriente

Un corte de luz de alrededor de diez minutos se produjo anoche en el sector oriente de la capital debido a una falla de la sub estacisn Andes, luego de producirse la explosisn de un transformador de energma elictrica en la poblacisn Esperanza Andina, ubicada en el sector de Avenida Grecia con La Quebrada, en la comuna de Peqalolin.

El problema dejs a oscuras a parte de Las Condes, Quqoa, La Reina y Peqalolin a partir de las 22:27.

Dos personas resultaron con quemaduras leves y bomberos seqals que el hecho se produjo debido a la sobrecarga del transformador.

Los lesionados fueron identificados como Sergio Echeverrma de 52 aqos de edad y Sergio Munos de 25, quienes fueron llevados hasta la Posta Central.

Chilectra informs que el suministro comenzs a restablecerse parcialmente desde las 22:34, pero el sector volvis a la completa normalidad a las 22:40.

Al momento de la explosisn, en la compaqma se encontraba operando un turno especial, de unas cien personas, para prevenir y detectar cualquier problema derivado del llamado Y2K. Anoche era una de las fechas en que, segzn expertos, los sistemas computacionales podman fallar debido a los computadores podrman no estar preparados para reconocer el 2000 como un aqo bisiesto.

El Electronico Mercurio

-- Lee Maloney (, March 19, 2000


Response to Chile - Y2k Leap Year date blamed for Santiago's electric substation outage; overloaded transformer explodes, injures two

Lee, good catch. How in the world did you notice this one?

However, your topic header says more than the article does, even implicitly.

The article basically says that a transformer exploded, slightly burning two people, and causing a 10-minute blackout ("un corte de luz") in the eastern part of Santiago, capital of Chile ("el sector oriente de la capital").

No cause is indicated in any way in this article, so one cannot in all fairness say that a computer problem/Y2K/Leap Day is being blamed in the article.

The article does note that (conincidentally or not???) on the night of the transformer explosion, 29 February, the power company had a command center running with about 100 people in it, to deal with any problems that might come from the Leap Day problem.

Unlike so many similar articles in the North American media, there is not even an attempt to deny offically any link with Y2K computer problems. Make of that what you will; in this particular case, a transformer explosion, I think it unlikely there's a computer or embedded chip cause. But who knows.

Without other facts, and given the recent increases in solar activity, it is at least as likely that Solar Max contributed as that Leap Day problems did. Transformers blow all the time; we expect more to do so this year due to Solar Max.

By the way, I am always entertained to see how poorly the free translation software does. I would have expected common compound phrases such as "blackout" to be handled correctly. Still needs a little work, it seems.


--Andre in southcentral Pennsylvania

-- Andre Weltman (, March 22, 2000.

Response to Chile - Y2k Leap Year date blamed for Santiago's electric substation outage; overloaded transformer explodes, injures two

Hi Andre,

I've been away for a while and just found your reply.

You're absolutely right about my header which should be corrected!

Indeed, it was information about the Y2k watchgroup at Chile's Electric Company which threw me off. My initial impression was that help was called in to deal immediately with a Y2k problem at the plant.

Re-reading the article again, there's no indication that the company *blames* the outage on Y2k, just that a watchgroup was there monitoring events during the February 29 rollover.

Whew. These Alta Vista translations are a bit tricky to understand, so I appreciate your pointing out my error.

Yes, transformers blow all the time, but if these incidents should increase in frequency in a particular region, I'll start to question the explanations that power companies give. Time will tell.

Not only do we have solar effects on the power grid to consider, but also reliability problems as the industry becomes more competitive. At least that's what Energy Secretary Bill Richardson would have us believe when he warns of "more" long, hot summers of outages in American cities. I don't know how it is where you folks live, but in my area, outages are a rarity.

Thanks Andre for your much needed help!


-- Lee Maloney (, March 26, 2000.

Response to Chile - Y2k Leap Year date blamed for Santiago's electric substation outage; overloaded transformer explodes, injures two

Correction: Sysop, please change my header to read:

Santiago electric substation outage 2/29, overloaded transformer explodes while Y2k watchgroup monitors

-- Lee Maloney (, March 27, 2000.

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