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Apr 24 2008

Power Outages – Blackouts, an International Phenomenon

Posted in General, International Property

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Electricity disruptions are not limited to the power shortages we are currently experiencing in South Africa. Panama and Brazil have had the same experiences (and used rationing to limit usage). China is importing coal in its attempt to maintain production.

The following articles illustrate that the even the first worlds are not immune to the effects of electrical interruptions. The most recent being the blackout through Florida state.

Power Outage Hits NEW YORK and Beyond ( Aug 14, 2003 Michael Singer) The widespread blackout darkens offices, airports and municipalities up and down the Eastern U.S. … A massive power outage unexpectedly darkened New York as well as other Northeast cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit and Cleveland. … The blackout, …, shut down offices, subways, municipalities and airports including JFK, Newark Airport and LaGuardia. The power failure meant no lights, no air conditioning and no elevators to millions of people in the U.S. and Canada. An hour later, New York Governor George Pataki declared a state of emergency asking that residents stay home and limit their travel to their neighborhoods.

THE BLACKOUT: WHAT WENT WRONG; Experts Asking Why Problems Spread So (New York Times Aug 16, 2003) The power collapse that stilled a large swath of North America Thursday apparently began with a failure in the Midwest that cascaded into Canada, and from there into New York … After the 1965 blackout, the transmission system that carries power from one area to another was modified specifically to avoid such a domino-effect collapse, although the state of the nation’s intricately connected electrical grid has been widely derided as antiquated and vulnerable to catastrophe. The next major blackout, in 1977, was limited to a much smaller area, primarily New York City. ….

EUROPE suffers widespread power cuts (Wikinews Nov 5, 2006) A sudden cold snap across Europe caused a surge in demand for electricity. Two high voltage power lines in Germany failed. This triggered a cascade of cuts as automatic safety devices cut millions of customers in order to prevent a total blackout of the continent. Parts of Germany, Belgium, France (including parts of Paris), Spain, and Italy were affected. High speed railways were also impacted.. … saying “We weren’t very far from a European blackout”.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Power was restored Tuesday for most of Florida … widespread blackouts across the state. Utility workers were still trying to piece together exactly what happened, … (Feb 27, 2008)

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