India Power Outage: 600 Million People Affected By One Of The World's Biggest Blacko

Red Eft

Former Staff
May 2007
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NEW DELHI (AP) — India's energy crisis spread over half the country Tuesday when both its eastern and northern electricity grids collapsed, leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world's biggest-ever blackouts.

The power failure has raised serious concerns about India's outdated infrastructure and the government's inability to meet an insatiable appetite for energy as the country aspires to become a regional economic superpower.

The outage in the eastern grid came just a day after India's northern power grid collapsed for several hours. Indian officials managed to restore power several hours later, but at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday the northern grid collapsed again, said Shailendre Dubey, an official at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp. in India's largest state. About the same time, the eastern grid failed as well, said S.K. Mohanty, a power official in the eastern state of Orissa. The two grids serve about half India's population.

Traffic lights went out across New Delhi. The city's Metro rail system, which serves about 1.8 million people a day, immediately shut down for the second day in a row. Police said they managed to evacuate Delhi's busy Barakhamba Road station in under half an hour before closing the shutters.
S.K. Jain, 54, said he was on his way to file his income tax return when the Metro closed and now would almost certainly miss the deadline.

The new power failure affected people across 13 states — more than the entire population of the European Union
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/india-power-outage_n_1722356.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D186244
 
Mar 2012
60,128
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New Hampshire
I see from the article they do use hydropower, I wonder what else they use? Wow that is a staggering amount of people, I think we lost power to around 300,000 last October and we went bonkers. Our world has become so technological it is nearly impossible to live without power anymore. Funny how we keep creating more and more gadgets to improve our lives but we don't give our electric grid a second thought.
 
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highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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let me indulge some MichaelR-style alarmism: if the power stays out much more than a day or two, the whole country could descend into anarchy, and once it goes into that tailspin it'd be really hard to pull back out again, even if they did manage to get the power back on.
 
Mar 2012
60,128
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New Hampshire
Just think for a minute how much food alone will perish at those high temperatures without refrigeration..We will likely see disease and starvation at a very high scale. Even those with some money won't be immune. It could be a real humanitatian crisis.
 
Apr 2011
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Under your skin
I see from the article they do use hydropower, I wonder what else they use? Wow that is a staggering amount of people, I think we lost power to around 300,000 last October and we went bonkers. Our world has become so technological it is nearly impossible to live without power anymore. Funny how we keep creating more and more gadgets to improve our lives but we don't give our electric grid a second thought.
A windstorm came through my area about a week and a half ago and the power was off for about 4 hours. I thought I would lose my mind! I can't imagine what it would be like if 1/2 the U.S. had its power go out.

(Ok, I could imagine it and it would not be good!)
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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i'm amazed this isn't a bigger story, to tell you the truth. this could be quite a bit more important than Romney's latest gaffe, but the only thing i saw on the yahoo newswire is a story that's five hours old... googling "india power outage" i'm getting conflicting stories re: whether the power's been turned back on. The internet is a great news source but maybe not so much for breaking stories like this.

I find this story rather worrisome.
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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I've Got Nowhere Else to Go
well, this is interesting. turns out maybe it isn't such a big deal after all, since so much of india doesn't have power anyway.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/world/asia/power-outages-hit-600-million-in-india.html

But despite the scale of the power failure, many Indians responded with shrugs. In the first place, India’s grid is still being developed and does not reach into many homes. An estimated 300 million Indians have no routine access to electricity.

Second, localized failures are routine. Diners do not even pause in conversation when the lights blink out in a restaurant. At Delhi’s enormous Safdarjung Hospital, doctors continued to rush around as hundreds of patients lay in darkened hallways.

Third, so many businesses employ backup generators that, for many, life continued without much of a hiccup. Dr. Sachendra Raj, the manager of a private Lucknow hospital, rented two new generators two months ago, and they were keeping the hospital’s dialysis machines running and the wards air-conditioned. “It’s a very common problem,” Mr. Raj said. “It’s part and parcel of our daily life.”
if something analogous had happened here (more than half the country losing power) i think there would probably already be looting and gunfire in the streets. It's a weird disconnect that in India it's not the cataclysm it would be here.
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
78,488
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So. Md.
This biggest power outage in North America happened in 2003. 50 million were without power for 2 days. 11 people died. I feel for the Indians this being the middle of summer. But, apparently a lot of them are used to it.