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Living in the dark

On Tuesday afternoon, India faced a massive power failure that left nearly 20 states and 600 million people without electricity. It was only today morning that power was restored in most affected parts. 


Passengers wait on a railway platform in Kolkata for the resumption of train services during Tuesday's power failure (Pic - AFP)

Even as we aspire to be the next superpower, this blackout has earned India a dubious distinction, that of being "the world's worst." Here's a look at some other incidents that have proved that the dark ages are just a power failure away.

Auckland power outage

A five-week-long power outage in 1998 (February 20 to March 27) had affected the central city of Auckland, New Zealand.

It resulted out of a series of line failures. The major commercial centre of Auckland, Queen Street, wore a deserted look during the crisis. When generators were used for essential servcies, it led to a lot of chaos.

London dreams?

There was a major blackout in London on the evening of August 28, 2003, that stretched from central to south London. The train services were thrown out of gear. The chaos lasted well into the night.

Them and US

This was a widespread one that occurred in parts of United States and Canada on August 14, 2003. At the time, it was one of the most severe power outages in the world.


A woman swings a light about her head to attract the attention of taxis after huge power blackouts paralysed New York in August 2003 (Pic - AFP)

The blackout affected an estimated 10 million people in Canada and 45 million people in eight US states. While telephone lines remain operational, water, cell phone and other essential services became dysfunctional. Most affected areas got back power supply the next day by 8 am.

On June 29 this year, thunderstorms led to power outages in several parts of US.

Black Brazil!

On November 10, 2009, power was cut out to most states of Brazil due to a failure of transmission lines from Itaipu Dam, the world's second largest hydroelectric dam, affecting over 80 million customers.

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