Blackout hits main Philippine Island of Luzon : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Apr 7, 2001 - 09:11 AM Fair use for educational purposes only!

Blackout Hits Main Philippine Island of Luzon

By Oliver Teves, Associated Press Writer

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - An overloaded transmission line cut power to 35 million Filipinos, including the sprawling capital Manila, for more than 14 hours Saturday on the main island of Luzon.

Elevators shuddered to a halt, Web sites crashed and an inky darkness blanketed the capital and other areas when the power first went out at 3:30 a.m., the National Power Corp. said.

Cash machines went blank, air conditioners fell silent and ice cream turned to goop in small stores as temperatures rose to 90 degrees by early afternoon. Traffic lights were out in metropolitan Manila, home to 9 million people, causing major traffic jams.

Electricity was restored to 72 percent of Luzon and about half of metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces by 5 p.m., officials said. Full power was expected later in the evening.

The overload of the transmission line, which links plants in the provinces of Quezon east of Manila and Laguna to the south, caused an automatic shutdown of all power stations linked to the Luzon grid as part of the system's safety feature, the state-run power company said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ruled out sabotage, but ordered a thorough investigation. A second power failure at midmorning halted Manila's commuter train system, said Arvee Villafuerte, a spokesman for the power company. Generators kept flights running on time, airport officials said.

AP-ES-04-07-01 0911EDT Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

-- Swissrose (, April 07, 2001

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