Six million homes in Taiwan hit by power outage

Schools, public transportation hubs, hospitals, residential areas and businesses suffered several a “power dip” in the afternoon. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Rolling blackouts hit Taiwan on Thursday after an outage at a coal- and gas-fired power plant hit 6 million homes.

Authorities have worked to resume normal supply by evening but local schools, public transportation hubs, hospitals, residential areas and businesses suffered several a “power dip” in the afternoon.

Officials at three major science parks in Hsinchu, Tainan and Taichung told media there was no impact on the operations of the major chipmakers, but millions were affected throughout the day by the outage which also resulted in water shortages in some areas.

In a text message, the government said its grid did not have sufficient electricity capacity after the outage at the power plant in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

Several cities reported blackouts, the official Central News Agency said, as a top official appealed for calm.

“The government has a grasp of the situation,” Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told reporters. “Citizens please remain calm and there’s no need for panic.”

Utility Taipower said more than 6 million homes were hit by the outage, which it blamed on a technical failure at the power plant.

The island’s blackouts reportedly ran in rotation until 6.20 p.m., even though a decision on any extensions could be made later tonight.

The economic ministry said it was working to restore supply by evening. The main international airport near Taipei, the capital, and the high speed rail line were operating normally, the transport ministry said.

Fire officials said they were responding to more than 200 reports of people trapped in elevators, most of them in northern Taiwan.

President Tsai Ing-wen will address the nation at 7 p.m., according to the Presidential Office.