Power Failure

The Associated Press reports:

NEW YORK (AP) — A mysterious blackout during the hottest week of the year left tens of thousands of New Yorkers without power for a fifth day Friday as residents sweltered, businesses idled and city officials seethed after the power company revealed the outages were 10 times larger than previously reported.

“It’s a total catastrophe. We’ve been throwing things out for four days,” restaurant owner Louis Panazakos lamented as workers threw out garbage bags full of fresh pasta and sauces.

Power company Con Edison initially said fewer than 2,500 customers were affected, but it increased that number tenfold Friday morning to 25,000 customers. By 9 p.m., the number of customers without power had dropped to 23,950, the utility said.

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 01:53:33 -0700
From: ‘BlueHost Support’ ()

Dear Bluehost Customer,

This evening (July 14th) from about 5:25pm-6:55pm many of our servers
were offline causing significant downtime for many of our users. The
outage was due to a severe power outage in the north end of Orem, Utah
where our servers are located. We do have UPS backup as well as diesel
generators, but at about 5:30 they finally gave out. The power outage
was for much longer than that period of time, but the reserve power
was eventually consumed in its entirety. When it rains it pours.

CNN reports:

MOBILE, Alabama (CNN) — More than 656,000 homes and businesses across Alabama were without electricity Tuesday, and water and debris still closed off many roads.

In a demonstration of Katrina’s wide reach, more than 182,000 customers in the Birmingham area and another 132,000 in and around Tuscaloosa — both cities more than 150 miles inland — were without power.

Alabama Power spokesman Bernie Fogarty warned customers they would be in for a “prolonged outage.”

Reuters, via Slashdot, reports:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) — An undersea cable carrying data between Pakistan and the outside world has developed a serious fault, virtually crippling data feeds, including the Internet, telecommunications officials said.

The system crashed late on Monday and was still down on Tuesday evening. Many offices across the country ground to a halt as people realized it was not one of Pakistan’s regular, but usually brief, technical hitches.

“It’s a worst-case scenario. We are literally blank,” said a senior foreign banker who declined to be identified.

Reuters, via MSNBC, via Slashdot, reports:

MOSCOW - Electricity was suddenly cut off to swathes of Russia’s capital on Wednesday bringing large sections of the public transport system, including underground train services, to a halt.

Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, speaking in parliament, said the breakdown had been caused by an explosion at a electricity substation but he did not say what caused the blast.

Moscow’s main stock exchange was suspended. The MICEX foreign exchange bourse stopped trading for one hour because, though it had power, many of its clients did not.

Trams and trolleybuses ground to a standstill and traffic lights stopped working, causing a flurry of road traffic accidents, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

The underground train system was halted and suburban commuter trains on several routes in and out of the city were also affected. Water supplies to homes were also disrupted.

The outage also affected large parts of the nearby Moscow and Tula regions.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports:

(AP) — Emergency phone calls in Chicago had to be rerouted Thursday after a power outage at the city’s 911 call center, authorities said.

The BBC reports:

A rush-hour power cut has caused major disruption on rail and Tube services in London and the South East.

Power returned to the system at about 1900 BST but the knock-on effects are still being felt by commuters struggling home.

Network Rail says between 500 and 1,000 trains have been affected by the power cut, caused by a fault with the National Grid.

Train company Connex reported the power went out between London and Ashford, in Kent.

South London was hardest hit and Transport for London said 60% of the Tube network was affected.


HARTFORD, Conn. - When technology failed on a massive scale last week, some old-fashioned broadcasting stepped into the breach as ham radio operators took to the airwaves to reach emergency workers.

For millions of people in the Northeast and Midwest, the Aug. 14 outage took access to e-mail and the Internet with it. Landline and cellular telephones were jammed by a crush of calls.

But the ham radio, which came into being in the World War I era, connected firefighters and police departments, Red Cross workers and other emergency personnel during the most extensive blackout in the Northeast since 1977.