Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cause of Last Night's Power Failure

The national power grid was knocked out for almost two hours, caused by the explosion of a lightning arrester at San Joaquin, Escuintla.

The blackout began at 17:14 and lasted until after 19:00, after which the service was restored sector by sector, reported the National Electrification Institute (INDE).

99.9 percent of the country was affected by the blackout. The failure occurred at a time of day when the system is under maximum load. Because there was no reserve power available, failover devices caused the whole grid to go down, leaving only two major power lines still operating.

The lack of electricity in the capital caused traffic jams because of non-functioning traffic lights.

This is the second power outage that's knocked out the national grid in less than 10 days. On Sunday April 26th, a transformer explosion at the station in San Jose Villa Nueva left the country without electricity.

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