Massive blackout in Chile affects 9 million people

September 25, 2011SANTIAGOA massive power blackout paralyzed crucial copper mines in Chile on Saturday and darkened vast swaths of the country including the capital Santiago before energy was largely restored, officials said. The outage acutely exposed the fragility of the energy grid in the world’s top copper producer, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake in 2010. Critics have blamed Chilean President Sebastian Pinera for under-investment in infrastructure and his popularity ratings have dropped since taking office last year. Prior to the power failure, he was already struggling with massive protests by university students demanding deep educational reforms. Scrambling engineers were able to fully restore power generation and get distribution up to 90 percent of normal, the government said after the blackout, which lasted a couple of hours in most places. “We’ve regained power in various regions of the country,” said Chilean Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez. At an earlier briefing, Alvarez said the cause of the outage was unknown but that computers that help run the energy grid had also malfunctioned. The blackout primarily hit the centre of the country, where nearly 10 million of Chile’s 16 million people live.Reuters
Illinois outage: Several area communities lost power Saturday evening from Ottawa to Princeton and as far west as Tiskilwa, including DePue, Malden, LaMoille and Ladd. Ladd resident Beth Flaherty said she was without power from 4:40 p.m. until shortly after 7 p.m. Residents who called Ameren got a message that stated there was a problem with a generator in Hennepin. Ladd Lanes wasn’t affected too much by losing power for 1 1/2 hours, according to manager Sam Lawrence. The business closed until power returned at 7 p.m. and then reopened. The recorded message at Ameren gave an estimated time of 1 a.m. for power to be restored, Lawrence said, which would have cost the business its Saturday night crowd. Nearly 4,000 Ameren customers were without power in Ottawa at 7:30 p.m., according to the company’s website, but by 7:40 p.m. that area was back on. More than 500 people in each town still were without power in Tiskilwa, Princeton and DePue. Ten minutes later DePue was back online, leaving only Tiskilwa and Princeton residents in the dark, along with one location in Ottawa and one in La Salle. –News Tribune
BOISE, ID — Over 1,000 people in Boise were without power Saturday afternoon. Around 4 p.m., an outage that ranged from Boise to Garden City affected 1,369 customers at its peak. Ada County Dispatch said that a blown transformer at the corner of Chinden and Maple Grove was the cause of the outage. The transformer blowing did spark a small grass fire, but crews on scene were quickly able to bring it under control. Idaho Power said they had crews on scene soon after the problem was identified to begin fixing the problem. –KTVB 
Arizona Outage: Umpires pulled the Giants off the field while they discussed the situation with D-backs officials. The game resumed after a 28-minute delay. After the game, the D-backs issued a statement: “According to APS, Arizona Public Service, a microburst hit the Phoenix area and took out 1 of 2 APS substations that feeds Chase Field. The transfer switch did transfer to the backup feeder resulting in minimal power outage to the stadium. However, the stadium is equipped with high-pressure sodium lights which shut down when experiencing a voltage drop causing the outage. After shutting down, they require a cool off period then a re-strike, which takes 20 minutes.” –MLB 
Ohio: An officer responded to a loud explosion in the 1000 block of East Sixth Street at 2:40 a.m. Saturday and found it to be a blown transformer that caused a power outage in the area. –Salem News 
Karachi loses power: The Karachi Electric Supply Company on Saturday increased the duration of unannounced power outages for domestic consumers to about 12 hours and for the industry to eight hours. Residents of North Karachi, parts of North Nazimabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Federal B Area and PECHS block II complained that they suffered at least five spells of power outages of two-hour duration each. Residents of Orangi, Keamari, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony and Korangi suffered even more hours of power outages. A KESC spokesman, however, claimed that residential and commercial consumers would suffer a maximum of nine hours of loadshedding while the duration for industrial loadshedding would be eight hours. He said as the gas supply was 160MMCFD (million cubic feet daily), the KESC`s combined cycle power plant was still closed and the remaining gas turbines were on below optimal output due to a low gas supply. An SSGC spokesperson, however, claimed that the KESC needed a minimum of 130MMCFD to operate turbines, and maintained that the power utility was making unnecessary noises to deflect the focus from its own mishandling of the situation. –Dawn 
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20 Responses to Massive blackout in Chile affects 9 million people

  1. Rosem says:

    Solar flare…

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  2. Erik says:

    i think there is a connection between all these power outages and the recent double x flares the sun put out.

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  3. luisport says:

    Sunday, 25 September, 2011 at 12:34 UTC
    Description
    A massive power blackout paralyzed crucial copper mines in Chile on Saturday and darkened vast swaths of the country including the capital Santiago before energy started to be restored, officials said. The outage acutely exposed the fragility of the energy grid in the world’s top copper producer, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake in 2010. Critics have blamed Chilean President Sebastian Pinera for under-investment in infrastructure and his popularity ratings have dropped since taking office last year. Prior to the power failure, he has already struggling with massive protests by university students demanding deep educational reforms. Engineers scrambling to restore power were able to get the lights turned on in at least some districts of Santiago and at the sprawling El Teniente copper mine of state-owned Codelco, officials and Reuters witnesses said. Chilean Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez said the cause of the failure was unknown but that computers that help run the energy grid had also malfunctioned. “This affects the fourth and seventh region, or much of the country’s most populous area,” he said on state TV. Those regions include about 10 million people in the center of the country. Angloamerican said operations at its Los Bronces mine was halted by the blackout and state-run Codelco said its Andina division was also paralyzed. Authorities said the Collahuasi and Chuquicamata mines in the far north of Chile were not affected and that the power outage did not extend to them.
    http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_update_read&edis_id=PW-20110925-32435-CHL&uid=11449

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  4. radiogirl says:

    What is the cause of these outages?Are they due to the solar flares?

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  5. Sheila S says:

    About 1000 AT&T cell phone towers in Los Angeles experienced outages yesterday – I believe it’s supposed to be fixed today. People were having trouble calling or receiving calls and checking voice mail, but not texting.

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  6. Kim Lancer says:

    its very creepy of a massive block out with-out any reasons at all…

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  7. acta non verba says:

    Sorry to disipoint but it`s not the second coming.. It`s a solar flare, nothing more nothing less..

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    • Kim says:

      Hmm no one said that. But thanks.

      I can imagine the panic when people can’t use their phones. Teenagers might go on rampages without being able to use them especially the ones I know.

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    • radiogirl says:

      Read through here and have not seen a mention of any second coming …..just discussion of power outages and solar flares in this thread.

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  8. I heard from a friend of mine in Cleveland OH that they had power outages also. They said it was caused by storms going through the area. But that’s way too many power outages happening at one time and I don’t believe in coincidences.

    Maranatha

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  9. Karl H says:

    Here in Australia we have been getting very load crackling sound on mobile phone yesterday and to day.. Had a bad connection before but nothing comes close to this..

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  10. juliette says:

    Juliette from Kitimat BC Canada
    On September 23 powere was 2am until 8 am.
    The Power was out on September 24 5 pm till 9 pm. What ever happened it knocked out our
    satillite dish. Also here crackling on the cell phones as well as regular phone lines.

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  11. Brandon says:

    Kim, I know. It would be devastating to them! Lol! Ummm, Acta nonverba, nobody even mentioned the second coming on this particular posting. With all due respect, if you’re going to appear just so you can debunk make sure you understand what the discussion is about first. Sorry to disappoint you but when you add this to everything else happening it most certainly is the Second Coming. Jesus foretold these exact events two thousand years ago.

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    • Michele B says:

      Thanks for that Brandon. One of the things I really appreciate about this blog is how everyone (for the most part) is very calm and respectful, and not given to wild theories and religious pronouncements. But really, the thing that we all pretty much take as a given here is that we could very well be living in the end-times, and the signs of it are right here day after day. It should not come as any surprise to anyone keeping up with the news, even a tiny bit. God bless!

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  12. Rick says:

    Had a major transformer blow and knock power out here in North Phx about 12pm Sunday. Dunno what caused it but figured I would pass this info on. Power was back on within hours.

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  13. Diana says:

    I was in Bali (2 hours east of Denpasar) on September 26 when a blackout occurred (or “brownout” to Asian countries) at 7pm. Our resort had a backup generator so I didn’t know the power was down for 30mins.

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