List of major power outages

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Skyline of Toronto during the Northeast blackout of 2003

This is a list of notable wide-scale power outages. To be included, the power outage must conform to all of the following criteria:

  1. The outage must not be planned by the service provider.
  2. The outage must affect at least 1,000 people and last at least one hour.
  3. There must be at least 1,000,000 person-hours of disruption.

In other words:

  • 1,000 people affected for 1,000 hours (42 days) minimum, but if fewer than 1,000 people, event would not be included (regardless of duration).
  • One million people affected for a minimum of one hour, but if duration is less than one hour, event would not be included (regardless of number of people).
  • For example, 10,000 people affected for 100 hours or 100,000 for 10 hours would be the minimum to be included.


article people affected
location date references
2012 India blackouts 620 India 30–31 July 2012 [1][2][3]
2001 India blackout 230 India 2 January 2001
2014 Bangladesh blackout 150 Bangladesh 1 November 2014 [4]
2015 Pakistan blackout 140 Pakistan 26 January 2015 [5]
2005 Java–Bali blackout 100 Indonesia 18 Aug 2005 [6]
1999 Southern Brazil blackout 97 Brazil 11 March 1999 [7]
2009 Brazil and Paraguay blackout 87 Brazil, Paraguay 10–11 Nov 2009 [8]
2015 Turkey blackout 70 Turkey 31 March 2015 [9]
Northeast blackout of 2003 55 United States, Canada 14–15 August 2003 [10]
2003 Italy blackout 55 Italy, Switzerland 28 September 2003 [11]
2016 Kenya Blackout 44 Kenya 7 June 2016 [12]
2002 Luzon blackout 40 Philippines 21 May 2002 [13]
1978 Thailand blackout 40 Thailand 18 March 1978 [14]
2001 Luzon blackout 35 Philippines 07 April 2001 [15]
Northeast blackout of 1965 30 United States, Canada 9 November 1965 [16]
2019 Venezuelan blackout 30 Venezuela 7–17 March 2019 (ongoing) [17][18][19]
2016 Sri Lanka blackout 21 Sri Lanka 13 March 2016 [20]



On the evening of November 9, the Northeast blackout of 1965 affected portions of seven northeastern states in the United States and the province of Ontario in Canada.


On August 5, a 50-mile stretch of Florida's gold coast was hit with a general power failure after an explosion at the Cutler Ridge facility. The outage affected more than 2 million people, and created a vast traffic jam. Miami and Ft. Lauderdale downtown areas were offline for almost two hours, with other areas dark for much longer periods.[21]



On the evening of February 2, power in parts of the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens was lost following an explosion at Con Ed's Waterside power facility on 40th Street and 1st Avenue in Manhattan. New York City television and FM radio stations that transmit from the Empire State Building were off the air. AM radio stations were largely unaffected, as most of their transmitters were located in either Northern New Jersey (e.g. WABC-AM) or on High Island (e.g. WCBS-AM) in the Bronx, which was not affected by the blackout. However, several Manhattan AM station studios were affected due to insufficient power backups. Several lines of the New York City IND and IRT subway lines were affected, stranding passengers. At Grand Central Terminal power in the terminal was lost, but power on the tracks was retained because it runs on direct current. The New York Daily News was also affected when the blackout caused their printing facility to halt operations.[22]


On July 4, a major power failure affected most of Utah and parts of Wyoming for 1.5 to 6 hours.[23]


On May 17, parts of South Florida were blacked-out after a malfunctioning relay caused the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Miami to go offline.[24]

On July 13–14 in New York City, 9 million people were affected by a power outage. It was a result of a transmission failure due to a lightning-strike on power lines. A second lightning-strike caused the loss of two more overhead power lines, and the last power connection between New York City and the Northwest. The power outage resulted in high instances of looting occurring over 26 hours.[25]

On September 20, a power outage covered almost the entire province of Quebec, affecting 6 million people. Power was restored to scattered rural areas within an hour and service was brought back to parts of Montreal and Quebec City within 2 hours; it took several hours to fully restore power.[26]


On March 18, Thailand experienced a countrywide blackout as a result of failed generators in the South Pranakhorn Powerplant in Samut Prakan, which then caused many generators across the country to shut down. The failure started at 7:40 am (GMT+7). Before the isolation of the power grid, blackouts occurred in the northern provinces of Thailand for one hour, the northwestern provinces for 15 minutes, the southern provinces for half an hour, the central provinces for one hour, and Bangkok and its neighboring provinces for more than two hours. Within nine hours and 20 minutes, the authorities were able to restore power across the country.



On January 8, prisoners on a work assignment burning trash and debris at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, accidentally caused a major power failure when something they were burning exploded, causing a fireball that shorted out transmission lines above them. 1.5 million people lost power, in almost all of Utah, as well as parts of southeastern Idaho and southwestern Wyoming.[27]


On December 22, a transmission tower near Tracy, California collapsed onto an adjacent tower bringing down two 500-kV lines and a pair of 230-kV lines that passed underneath the 500-kV right of way. Total loss of 12,530 MW affected approximately five million people on the west coast.[28][29]


On December 27, two-thirds of the Swedish network was shut down when a single component in a switching station failed, causing a short-circuit in a transformer. This affected about 4.5 million people in the more densely populated southern half of Sweden.[30][31]


On May 17, most of South Florida was blacked-out after a brush fire in the Everglades damaged overhead transmission lines. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and the Florida Keys lost power for about 3.5 hours. About 4.5 million people were affected.[32]


On October 16, the Great Storm of 1987 interrupted the High Voltage Cross-Channel Link between the UK and France. The storm caused a domino-effect of power outages throughout the Southeast of England.[33]


On March 13, the March 1989 geomagnetic storm[34] caused the Hydro-Québec power failure[35] which left seven million people in the Canadian province of Quebec without power for over nine hours.[36]

On October 17, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake knocked out power to about 1.4 million customers in Northern California, mainly due to damaged electrical substations.[37]



On July 7, a powerful wind storm affected a large portion of central North America and caused power outages for about one million customers from Iowa to Ontario.[38]


On August 24, Hurricane Andrew made landfall on Elliot Key. As it passed over the northern Florida Keys it downed 17 miles of power lines, breaking the wooden poles they were strung on, along a path that was in four feet of water, stretching from the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant southward to the upper Keys. The shallow depth prevented the use of large construction barge cranes for rebuilding the power pylons but the water was too deep for land-based construction vehicles. As a result, the Upper and Middle Keys were largely without power for several months as the Middle Keys Electric Co-op only had generating capacity for 10% of its demand. The power lines heading north to Miami were restored much more quickly, as they were strung along the side of US highway 1 on dry land. Key West power was in the process of decommissioning an end-of-life oil-fired plant and was able to restore 75% generating capacity for the lower keys in one day as there was no storm damage that far south. Key West power was in the process of converting to sourcing 100% of its electricity from the Turkey Point facility.


Hurricane Opal approaching Pensacola, Florida in October 1995

On October 4, Hurricane Opal, which killed at least 59 people, knocked-out power to over two million customers across eastern and southern North America.[39]


On July 2–3 in the United States, Canada and Mexico there were 2 million people that lost power due to a transmission line overheating in Idaho and a 230-kV line between Montana and Idaho tripping. Some customers were without power for minutes, while others were without for hours.[25]

On August 10, the Western Intertie buckled under the high summer heat of the 1996 Western North America blackouts, causing a cascading power failure affecting nine western states of the United States and parts of Mexico. Four million people were affected.[40] Power was out in some locations for four days.

On November 19, a severe ice storm affected the region around Spokane, Washington and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho causing power outages lasting up to two weeks.[41]


The early-January North American Ice Storm of 1998 caused prolonged blackouts in northeastern North America, particularly in Quebec, where many transmission towers were destroyed by ice. Over 3.5 million customers in total lost power during the event.[42]

From February 20 to March 27, the 1998 Auckland power crisis resulted in the entire Auckland Central Business District in Auckland, New Zealand being without power for several weeks, after a line failure caused a chain reaction leading to the failure of three other lines.[43]

On May 31, a powerful wind storm caused a power outage for nearly two million customers across much of central North America.[44]

On September 7, a series of widespread derechos in the Northeast (the Labor Day Derechos) caused a power outage for hundreds of thousands of customers for several days.

On December 8, affecting San Francisco, California, and its environs, over 350,000 customers (buildings) or 940,000 people were affected by an outage caused when the Pacific Gas and Electric Company placed a San Mateo sub-station online at 8:17 am PST, while the station was still grounded following maintenance. This drew so much power from the transmission lines on the San Francisco peninsula that 25 other sub-stations in San Francisco automatically and immediately shut down. Power was not fully restored until almost 4:00 pm PST the same day. Economic costs were estimated in tens of millions of dollars.[45]


On July 5, the Boundary Waters–Canadian derecho cut power to over 600,000 homes in Quebec with additional outages in New England and in the Upper Great Lakes region.[46]

On July 29, in Taiwan, the No. 326 transmission tower collapsed due to a landslide, which disconnected around 8.46 million electricity consumers.[47]

On December 26–28, 1999 Cyclone Lothar and Martin left 3.4 million customers in France without electricity, and forced EdF to acquire all the available portable power generators in Europe, with some even being brought in from Canada.[48] These storms brought a fourth of France's high-tension transmission lines down and 300 high-voltage transmission pylons were toppled. It was described as one of the greatest energy disruptions ever experienced by a modern developed country.[49]



On May 9, a major power outage left the entire southern half of Portugal, including Lisbon, without power for a few hours. The blackout occurred shortly after 10 pm local time. The apagão (translated as "super outage"), suddenly plunged Lisbon in complete darkness. Stalled commuter trains and traffic light failures wreaked some havoc in the streets. Security was immediately reinforced in the city, but no rise in criminal activity was registered. Energias de Portugal, the main Portuguese electricity operator, later reported that the blackout was due to the electrocution of an unfortunate stork, which landed "on the wrong place at the wrong time". Because of this, the story was reported in the "oddly enough" sections of some European newspapers.[50]

During the 12-month California electricity crisis of 2000–01, there were regular power failures due to energy shortages.[51]


On January 2, a fault in the transmission system in the state of Uttar Pradesh led to cascading failure throughout northern India.[52]

On May 20, a problem at a power substation caused the blackout of 2001 in Iran.[53] Outages were reported in Tehran and at least six provincial capitals that are among Iran's biggest cities – Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kermanshah, Qazvin, and Hamedan.[54] Consequently, it is among the largest blackouts, affecting more than 30 million.


On January 30, a major ice storm hit Kansas City, Missouri, knocking trees into power lines and blowing-up transformers throughout the city. The outage affected more than 270,000 people.[55]

On July 13, Baku and nearly the entirety of Azerbaijan experienced a blackout due to unknown causes.[56]

On April 30, nearly all of JEA's 355,000 customers in Jacksonville, FL lost power.[57]


On July 22, a severe wind storm disrupted power to over 300,000 customers in the Memphis, Tennessee, metropolitan area.[58]

On August 14, the Northeast blackout of 2003, a wide-area power failure in the northeastern US and central Canada, affected over 55 million people.

On September 2, the 2003 southern Malaysia blackout resulted when a power failure affected five states (out of 13) in Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur, for five hours, starting at 10:00 am local time.

On September 19, Hurricane Isabel disrupted electricity for 4.3 million people across nine US states and parts of Ontario, Canada.[citation needed]

On September 23, a power failure affected five million people in east Denmark and southern Sweden.[59][60]

On September 28, the 2003 Italy blackout resulted from a power failure that affected all of Italy except Sardinia, cutting service to more than 56 million people.


On July 12, two power plants in Lavrio and Megalopolis, Greece, shut down due to malfunction within 12 hours of each other, during a period of high demand due to a heat wave. That led to a cascading failure causing the collapse of the entire Southern (Power) System, affecting several million people in southern Greece.[61]


The 2005 Malaysia electricity blackout crisis caused electricity to fail in many states of Malaysia's northern peninsula, including Perak, Penang, Kedah, and Perlis. This was due to a fault of the main cable transmission line grid near Serendah, Selangor.[62]

In January, a cyber attack disrupted power service in three cities north of Rio de Janeiro, affecting tens of thousands of people.[63]

On 25 May to 3 August, the 2005 Moscow power blackouts affected more than two million people in central Russia. The blackout was due to a cascading failure of the power grid started by a transformer failure. Some lines of Moscow Metro lost power, stranding people in trains.

Starting August 31, 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused widespread power outages throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. Exact totals are difficult to define, especially in Louisiana parishes which became unoccupied for months. Power was also disrupted to 1.3 million customers when Katrina passed over Florida several days earlier. In total 2.6 million people across the US were left without power as a result of the storm.


On August 1, in the Laurentians, in the province of Québec, Canada, a large number (146,000, at its peak in the evening of August 1) of households were left without electricity for a whole day, and some for up to a week, due to intense thunderstorms that rolled through southern Quebec, including the greater Montreal area. Over 450,000 customers in total were affected.[64]

On August 2, nearly a quarter million customers of Hydro One lost power after severe thunderstorms that included tornadoes and damaging wind ripped through southern and eastern Ontario.[65]

On August 14, a floating crane hit and broke a transmission line across the Edo River, interrupting power to 1,391,000 customers in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, including Tokyo, Yokohama and part of Kawasaki and Ichikawa. Power was restored to all but 15,000 customers within an hour. The full restoration was complete four hours and 42 minutes after the start of the incident.[66][67]

On the night of November 4, in main parts of Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal, over 15 million households were left without power after a cascading breakdown of the 2006 European blackout. Power grids of several other nations (Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece and Morocco) experienced minor local outages. The root cause was an overload triggered by the German electricity company E.ON switching off an electricity line over the river Ems to allow the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl to pass through safely. The impact of this disconnection on the security of the network had not been properly assessed, and resulted in the European transmission grid splitting into three independent parts for a period of two hours. The imbalance between generation and demand in each section resulted in the power outages for consumers.[68]

On December 14, 2006, the Hanukkah Eve windstorm of 2006 caused widespread damage to the power grid throughout Washington state and into parts of Oregon, British Columbia, and Idaho; in some cases, blackouts in the affected area lasted longer than a week.


On January 16, power was cut to 200,000 people in the Australian state of Victoria when bushfires caused the state's electricity connection to the national grid to shut down.[69]

On April 26, Colombia experienced a nationwide blackout at approximately 10:15 am local time, caused by an undetermined technical failure at a substation in the capital city, Bogota, Colombia. Power returned to most parts of the country after several hours.[70]

On July 23, the city of Barcelona suffered a near-total blackout. Several areas remained without electricity for more than 78 hours due to a massive electrical substation chain failure.

On September 26–27, a cyber attack caused major disruptions affecting more than three million people in dozens of cities in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.[63]

On December 2, a winter storm damaged transmission systems, resulting in a blackout over much of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador affecting close to 100,000 customers. About 7,500 customers on the Bonavista Peninsula were without service for almost a week.[71][72]

From December 8 to 12, a series of ice events cut power to over one million homes and businesses across the Great Plains of the United States, including large portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska.[73]

On December 12, a Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-64 Apache Attack helicopter, on a routine training mission, crashed into high voltage power lines. This resulted in a blackout affecting over 50,000 households in the Tielerwaard and Bommelerwaard region in the Netherlands. Power was restored after three days.[74]


On February 20, coal supplies to some power plants in Java were stopped, as ships could not dock at ports due to large waves. This resulted in an electricity deficit of about 1,000 megawatts, and the power supply was shut off in several areas to protect the aging infrastructure. This affected the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.[75]

On February 26, a failed switch and fire at an electrical substation outside Miami triggered widespread blackouts in parts of Florida affecting four million people. The nuclear reactors at Turkey Point power plant were shut down on the 84 °F (29 °C) day.[76] The failure disrupted power to customers in 35 southern Florida counties and spread into the northern Florida peninsula. The affected region ultimately ranged from Miami to Tampa on the state's west coast and Brevard County on the east coast.[77][78]

On April 2, 2008 around 420,000 households were left without power in Melbourne and in other parts of Victoria after the state was hit by winds of up to 130 km/h.[79]

On April 8, from around 3:30 am, around 400,000 persons were left without power in the city of Szczecin and its surroundings (as far as 100 km away), in northwest Poland. Most power was restored within 18 hours. The reason was the fall of wet, heavy snow, which stuck to the power cables and caused them to break. One of the major powerline pillars broke in the aftermath.[80]

On May 20, the entire island of Zanzibar suffered a complete shutdown of power. It happened at around 10:00 pm local time, and it was caused by a rupture of the undersea cable from Mainland Tanzania. Power was restored after one month, on June 18.

On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike landed in Galveston and left over 2 million customers without power in the Greater Houston area. Power to one million homes was restored by day 6 and to two million homes by day 16.[81]

On December 11, rare winter snowfall in Southern Louisiana caused 10,000 power outages, due to the accumulation of snow on transmission lines. Later that night in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, an ice storm hit, causing one million people to lose their power.[82]

On December 12, a large ice storm in the Northeast US collapsed power lines from Maine to Pennsylvania due to ice buildup on wires and trees and branches falling on power lines. At the peak of the outages, about 1.5 million people were without power. It took about two weeks to restore power to all locations.[83]

On December 26, power was lost for about 12 hours on the entire island of Oahu, Hawaii starting at about 6:45 pm, where President-elect Barack Obama and his family were vacationing. This is now confirmed to be due to lightning strikes on power lines, which caused HECO's system to trip.[84]


On January 23, a severe windstorm knocked out power to 1.2 million customers in parts of France.[85]

On January 27, an ice storm hit Kentucky and in Southern Indiana knocking out power to about 769,000.[86] As of February 15, about 12,000 were still without power from this storm.[87]

On January 27–31, hundreds of thousands of homes in Victoria, including Melbourne, suffered various power failures as a result of a record heat wave. It is estimated that over 500,000 residents in Melbourne were without power for the evening of January 30, 2009. The outage affected much of central Melbourne with train and tram services cancelled, the evacuation of Crown Casino, traffic light failures, people being rescued from lifts and patrons of the Victorian Arts Centre evacuated and shows cancelled. The outage occurred only an hour after the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) issued a statement saying load shedding was ending and power had been restored. Authorities say there had been a major electricity failure in the city's west, caused by the three-day heatwave. It is believed an explosion at South Morang contributed to the power problems along three transmission lines supplying Victoria's west and Victorian power supplier SP AusNet shed 1,000 megawatts. On January 30, Energy Minister Peter Batchelor announced that consumers who lost power for more than 20 hours would be eligible for compensation[88][89][90] It is estimated that over 500,000 residents in Melbourne were without power for the evening of January 30, 2009.

On March 30, a major power cut hits homes and business in Glasgow and parts of western Scotland. The affected areas included the west end of Glasgow, Bearsden, Clydebank, Helensburgh, Dumbarton and as far afield as Lochgilphead and Oban. Arran was also affected from the outage. The power cut occurred at 4:20 pm and power was slowly restored between 5:20 and 6:30 pm.[91]

On April 15, a little before 9:00 pm, a severe power cut blacked-out up to 80% of the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan and northern parts of neighboring Kyrgyzstan, affecting a few million people for several hours. Power was not restored until after midnight local time.[92]

On July 20, power was cut to around 100,000 homes in the areas of South East London and North Kent, UK, after vandals deliberately caused a fire near a cable installation, which caused failure of a 132 kV cable and four circuit boards. Due to the nature of the cable, it was impossible to re-route supplies around other cables without overloading them. As a result, power supplies were cut to about half of the homes for approximately four days, while other homes were given three-hour allocations of power followed by six hours "off". Over 70 mobile generators were brought in from around the country to help restore power in what was the largest deployment in London's history.[93]

On October 30 at around 8:00 am NZDT, power was cut to the whole of Northland and most of the northern half of Auckland, New Zealand, affecting 280,000 customers (14.5% of the country). A forklift carrying a shipping container accidentally hit one of the Otahuhu to Henderson 220 kV circuits while the other circuit was out for maintenance, leaving the region supplied by four low capacity 110 kV circuits. Power was restored to the entire region around 11:00 am.[94]

São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, during November 10 blackout.

On November 10, 10:13 pm Brasília official time,[95] the 2009 Brazil and Paraguay blackout due to the failure of transmission lines from Itaipu Dam, the world's second-largest hydroelectric dam, affecting over 80 million customers. The failure was caused by a major thunder storm which affected a key transmission line to southeastern Brazil, causing all 20 turbines at the hydroelectric power plant to shut-down due to the abrupt fall of power demand. Four of Brazil's most densely populated states entirely lost power (including the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) with 14 more states being partly affected. The entire country of Paraguay experienced the power failure. It took about seven hours for the system to fully recover. This is regarded as one of the largest blackouts in history.[96][97][98]



On January 30, two separate transmission lines were hit by lightning, blacking-out the Australian city of Darwin and the nearby cities of Katherine and Palmerston starting at about 6:00 am. Power was restored to all areas by 4:30 pm.[99]

In early February, a pair of blizzards hit the Northeastern US on 5–6 February and again just a few days later on 9–10 February. Among the hardest hit areas was the Baltimore–Washington corridor, with well over 200,000 people impacted at the height of the outages and about two-thirds of those without power for periods lasting from half a day to several days. Other urban areas, such as Pittsburgh, were also affected.[100][clarification needed]

On March 14, the March 2010 Chile blackout left roughly 15 million people, about 90% of the population of Chile, without power when a major transformer failed in southern Chile. Power began to be restored within a few hours, and almost all of the country had power by the following day. The outage was apparently not directly related to damage from the major earthquake that hit the country the previous month.[101]

On March 14, a severe windstorm disrupted power to hundreds of thousands of customers primarily in southwestern Connecticut as well as parts of Westchester County, Long Island, and New Jersey as a result of a severe wind and rain storm. The outage lasted as long as six days for some customers in the hardest-hit communities. Many public school districts were closed for up to five days the following week.[102]

On March 30, about 30,000 homes in Northern Ireland were hit by a power cut, caused by winter weather conditions. Omagh, Enniskillen, Dungannon, Derry, Coleraine, and Ballymena were affected.[103]

On June 27, Portsmouth UK suffered a massive blackout when a substation caught fire.[104]

On July 15, 76,000 people in Oakland and Wayne counties in southeastern Michigan lost power at approximately 7:00 pm during heavy storms. As of 12:00 noon on July 16, power had not been fully restored.[105]

On July 25, an estimated 250,000 Pepco customers lost power in the Washington, D.C. area, due to severe storms that swept through the area.[106]

On September 1, Iceland experienced a massive power outage.


The residential neighborhood of Los Navegantes, in Pichilemu (O'Higgins Region, Chile) during September 24 blackout.

On February 2, in Texas, forced outages at two major coal-fired power plants and high electricity demand due to cold weather caused rolling blackouts affecting more than one million customers.[107]

On February 3, Cyclone Yasi hit communities in North Queensland, Australia. The cyclone winds reached 300 km/h (186mp/h) and caused widespread damage through many communities. 170,000 homes lost electricity.[108]

On February 4, at least eight states in northeastern Brazil – Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio Grande do Norte, and Sergipe – suffered a major blackout from around midnight to 4:00 am. It is estimated that 53 million people were affected. Major cities Salvador, Recife, and Fortaleza were completely out of power.[109]

On February 22 at 12:51, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, damaging large parts of Orion's sub-transmission and distribution network. Over 80 percent of the city (approximately 160,000 customers) lost power following the quake. A total of 82% of customers had their power restored in five days. Some central city areas were still without power as late as May 1; more than two months after the initial earthquake.[110]

On April 27, one of the United States' most devastating tornado outbreaks disrupted power to most of northern Alabama; some 311 high-tension electrical transmission towers were destroyed by multiple, violent tornadoes.[111][112]

On June 30, Chennai suffered a major power outage that affected many parts of the city for more than 15 hours.[113]

Starting on July 11, Cyprus suffered a half-week power outage, affecting all cities on the Greek part of the island. The outage was caused by an explosion next to the Vassilikos power plant, shutting down the plant.[114][115]

On July 23, the failure of a glass insulator caused an outage of most of Northern Saskatchewan for about four hours.[116]

On the morning of July 11, the Chicago area was hit by a large derecho which disrupted power to over 850,000, according to ComEd.[117]

On August 27–28, Hurricane Irene caused over five million power outages.[118]

On September 8–9, the 2011 Southwest blackout affected parts of Southern California and Arizona, as well as parts of northwestern Mexico. The failure initiated after maintenance of a 500kV line brought it offline, and subsequent weaknesses in operations planning and lack of real-time situational awareness at multiple power stations led to cascading outages.[119] Power restoration was generally effective, but also affected by communication issues, with 100% power restoration occurring from 6–12 hours depending on location.[119] Over five million people were affected.[120]

On September 16, South Korea experienced a widespread blackout due to hot weather, the blackout came suddenly and caused disruptions of traffic signals, elevators and machines.[121]

On September 24, nine million people in north and central Chile were affected by the 2011 Chile blackout which lasted for at least two hours.[122]

In late October, a snowstorm along the East Coast of the US caused over two million power outages. Some residents of Connecticut and western Massachusetts were without electricity for over 11 days.[123]


On January 14, a 380 kV transformer failure in Bursa Natural Gas Fueled Combined Cycle PP in Turkey, was accused of voltage deviations in the interconnected power grid that resulted in a blackout. Another failure occurred in 154 kV Babaeski substation which caused a blackout in Thrace. 6 cities and more than 20 million people were affected by the Marmara blackout of 2012. The power was back in all cities in the evening. The blackout disrupted metro and tram operation in Istanbul. Also gas heating systems did not work during the blackout. The problem was resolved by getting electricity from Bulgaria to Thrace and feeding lines in İstanbul from Ambarlı Natural Gas PP in İstanbul.

On April 4, a blackout hit every city in Cyprus after the Dhekelia power station failed. There was a lack of electric power from 4:42 to 9:20 am.[124]

On June 29, a line of thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds swept from Iowa to the Mid-Atlantic coast and disrupted power to more than 3.8 million people in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Washington, DC.[125]

On July 30, due to a massive breakdown in the northern grid, there was a major power failure which affected seven north Indian states, including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Rajasthan.[126] It was the preludium for the outage at the following day.

On July 31, the 2012 India blackout left half of India without electricity supply. So far [2018] it is being called the biggest power failure in history. This affected hundreds of trains, hundreds of thousands of households and other establishments as the grid that connects generating stations with customers collapsed for the second time in two days.[127]

On October 29–30, Hurricane Sandy brought high winds and coastal flooding to a large portion of the eastern United States, leaving an estimated 8 million customers without power. The storm, which came ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane, ultimately left scores of homes and businesses without power in New Jersey (2.7 million), New York (2.2 million), Pennsylvania (1.2 million), Connecticut (620,000), Massachusetts (400,000), Maryland (290,000), West Virginia (268,000), Ohio (250,000), and New Hampshire (210,000). Power outages were also reported in a number of other states, including Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.[128][129]


Over the weekend of January 26–27 ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald caused the loss of power to over 250,000 customers in South East Queensland, Australia. Power was gradually restored over about 10 days.[130]

On February 8–9, some 650,000 homes and businesses in the northeastern US lost power as the result of a powerful nor'easter that brought hurricane-force wind gusts and more than two feet of snow to New England.[131]

On March 22, 2013, 200,000 homes in the Greater Belfast area lost power as the result of a fault with the high-voltage transmission network during a snow storm.[132]

On April 1, 2013, 100,000 people in Poland suffered under power outages due to heavy snow falls.[133] Warsaw Airport found the snow difficult to operate in.[134]

On May 5, 2013, 40–50% of Luzon island in the Philippines suffered power outages because several transmission lines had tripped-out, resulting in the isolation of Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, Calaca, Ilijan, Quezon Power Plant Philippines, Ltd (QPPL).[135]

On 21 May, the 2013 southern Thailand blackout resulted when a power failure affected fourteen provinces (out of 76) in Thailand, for four hours, starting at 7:00 pm local time.[136]

On May 22, the 2013 Southern Vietnam and Cambodia blackout occurred. The careless movement of a truck deployed to plant trees in New Binh Duong City urban area was the direct cause for a massive power outage in the southern region of Vietnam. When moving a tree on Wednesday afternoon, the truck driver let the tree bump onto a line in the national power grid (500 kV), causing an outage in 22 provinces and cities in the southern part of Vietnam, according to Vietnam Electricity.[137]

On September 24, the Trakia region of Turkey lost electric power. According to TREDAS (Power distribution utility of Trakia region), a failure in the substation of Hamitabat Gas Fueled Combined Cycle PP (in Lüleburgaz city of Kırklareli province) caused a power outage in TEİAŞ((in Turkish) 154kV interconnected power transmission grid of the region. Affected places included Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli provinces and Silivri city of İstanbul. Affected population was about 1.5 million citizens. Power was restored gradually after an hour and at 00.24[when?] all the region had been electrified.[138]

On December 22, the December 2013 North American storm complex, covering an area from Ontario to as far east as the maritime provinces in Canada, caused power failures. According to reports, as many as 300,000 customers in Toronto lost power.[139] Later reports placed the peak number in Ontario without power at 600,000 [140] The storm also caused widespread power outages in mid-Michigan. According to reports, as many as 500,000 lost power with restoration efforts expected through December 29.[141]


On February 27, parts of Mindanao, an island in the Philippines, suffered power outages for 6 hours. By 12:00 pm (PST+8) around 70 percent of its entire grid has been restored. The Department of Energy (DOE) were still investigating what caused the widespread blackout in Mindanao.[142]

On July 15, sixty percent of the power grid in Luzon island in the Philippines was lost due to Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda) that devastated the Southern part of Luzon where many power plants are located, such as the Geothermal Plant in the Bicol Region and the Coal Plant in Batangas.

On August 12, Malta suffered a nationwide power outage for almost 6 hours. Power was lost across Malta and Gozo at 7:50 pm and restored to most areas by 1:30 am. Due to problems with emergency generators, Malta International Airport had to close the runway and several flights were diverted to Catania and Palermo. The outage was due to a damaged cable which caused an explosion at the electricity distribution centre and automatic shut down of both power stations. A previous nationwide power cut occurred on January 9, 2014, caused by a Delimara power station fault.[143]

On September 4, Egypt suffered a major blackout in the capital and other cities at 6 am, continuing for hours, bringing some key services to a halt. The power outage cost the strategic facilities of the Suez Canal an estimated LE100 million, as naval traffic and industrial activity came to a halt along the vital waterway. Some television channels were halted for nearly two hours due to the outage.[144]

On October 5 at 2:15 am, a cable trench fire at Transpower's Penrose substation in Auckland, New Zealand, disconnected supply to Vector's local distribution network. Over 85,000 customers in Auckland's central-eastern suburbs lost electricity for over 12 hours. 50% of customers were reconnected by evening and 75% by the following morning.[145]

On November 1, Bangladesh suffered a nationwide power outage for almost 10 hours. Power was lost at around 11:30 am and restored to most areas by 11:00 pm.[146][147]

On November 21, South Africa experienced rolling blackouts which were implemented nationwide, and continued for the duration of the weekend. This followed similar outages earlier in the same month, all of which were triggered as a result of a collapsed coal silo at Eskom's Majuba Power Station, during a period when the state's power company was already experiencing severe supply strain on the national grid due to technical difficulties affecting some of its other major turbines.[148][149][150]


On January 26, 80% of Pakistan (some 140 million people) were without power due to technical fault at a power station in Sindh.[5]

On February 11, a technical problem in one of the main power grids in Kuwait caused most of the country to lose power.[151]

On March 27, a technical problem in one of the main power grids in North Holland caused 1 million households to not have power for at least one hour.[152]

On March 31, because of technical problems, over 90% of Turkey (about 70 million people) went without power. Unaffected regions were Van and Hakkari provinces which are fed by electricity from Iran.[9]

On August 29, a powerful wind storm disrupted power to 710,000 customers (nearly 50% of BCHydro's customers) on Vancouver Island and Vancouver's lower mainland. 705,000 customers had power restored within 72 hours of the storm. This was BCHydro's single largest outage.[153]

On November 17, a powerful wind storm that downed power lines left more than 161,000 customers without electricity in Spokane County, Washington, US, plus more in neighboring counties. It exceeded the ice storm that occurred 19 years previous, almost to the day.[154][155][156]

On November 21, a power outage left 1.2 million people in disputed Crimea with reduced or no power following explosions at transmission towers in Ukraine.[157]

On December 23, the December 2015 Ukraine power grid cyberattack left 230 thousand people without power for 1-6 hours.[158]


On June 7, Kenya went without power for over 4 hours. The nationwide blackout[159] was caused when a rogue monkey entered a power station. Only about 10 million citizens were affected by the outage as the World Bank estimates that only 23% of the country's population have access to electricity.[160]

On Thursday, September 1, Hurricane Hermine swept across the big bend area of Florida, directly affecting the state's capital of Tallahassee. Hermine disrupted power for more than 350,000 people in Florida and southern Georgia, many of whom were without power for a week.

On September 21, 2016, a full power system collapse occurred on the island of Puerto Rico affected its 3.5 million inhabitants. The power outage, popularly referred to as the "Apagón" (translated as "super outage") has been labeled as the largest in Puerto Rico not caused by an atmospheric event. The outage occurred after two transmission lines, with power running up to 230 kV, failed.[161]

On September 28, the 2016 South Australian blackout affected the entire state of South Australia (1.7 million people). It was caused by two tornados that destroyed three critical elements of infrastructure, and the power system protected itself by shutting down.[162] While some politicians and commentators have tried to link this power failure with the state's high mix of renewable energy sources (particularly wind energy), some experts have indicated that the blackout had nothing to do with this.[163] A number of technical reports in the previous 18 months expressed concern that the reliability and security of the power supply in South Australia had decreased following the introduction of substantial wind power, and the consequent withdrawal of major conventional power stations.[164]


On March 1, a severe thunderstorm with conditions similar to Typhoon Fitow affected New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, Vermont and Pennsylvania. This left 10 million without electricity. Power was restored the next day.[citation needed]

On March 8, a severe winter windstorm interrupted power for about 1 million customers in the state of Michigan, US. About 730,000 were still without power the next day.[165]

On July 1, Central American countries felt a 6-hour power outage to millions, Panama stated power was returned by GMT 00 Hrs. [166]

On July 8, an explosion at a Northridge power plant causes a widespread power outage in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. (LA Times)(Sky News)

On July 27 a crew working on the replacement for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, U.S., severed a power cable and caused a blackout on the Outer Banks islands which affected more than 7,000 people during the peak of tourist season.[167] The outage lasted eight days.[168]

On August 15, Taiwan suffers massive power cut, affecting millions of households, before 2017 Summer Universiade.

On August 26, half of the population of Uruguay endured a 4 hours outage. No cause has been reported besides bad weather.[169]

On September 10, Hurricane Irma hit the south-east of the United States, causing over 7.6 million customers to lose power. 6 million in Florida, 1.3 million in Georgia, 200K in South Carolina.[170]

On September 20, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, knocking out power to the entire island. Restoration efforts involved rebuilding significant parts of the already-dilapidated power grid. Only 55% of residents had power back after three months,[171] and as of August 2018, electricity has been finally restored to everyone in the island. [172]

On October 30, combination of the remnants of tropical storm Philippe and an extratropical system resulted in approximately 1.8 million power outages in New England. The storm was particularly bad in Midcoast Maine where roads became impassible for almost a week, leaving many schools to close for 5 to 6 days. This storm has been said to rival the Ice Storm of '98. Many people did not get their power back on for over 10 days in some of the worst hit areas.[173] In Canada, Hydro-Québec reported 200,000 customers losing power because of damages due to strong winds produced by the storm.[174]

On December 7–10, a rare Winter Storm named Benji came through the southeast states of the United States, causing over 900k customers to lose power.[173]


January 10 & 21, February 27, complete power outage in Sudan.[175]

On March 2, a Nor'easter struck the east coast of the U.S, leaving over 2 million people without power. [176]

On March 21, a power outage struck large swaths of Brazil, affecting tens of millions of people, especially in the country’s northern and northeastern regions. The blackout was due to the failure of a transmission line near the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric station.[177]

On April 12, 870,000 customers in Puerto Rico lost power when a tree fell on a major power line near the town of Cayey while workers were clearing vegetation.[178] A week later, on April 18, power was lost to all of Puerto Rico when an excavator repairing 2017 damage from Hurricane Maria hit a line connecting two major power plants.[179] After a request by Governor Ricardo Rossello, the government electricity monopoly, PREPA, terminated its relationship with D. Grimm, the subcontractor responsible for both incidents.[180]

On July 3 from around 00:20 till around 8:00, nearly the whole of Azerbaijan, except Nakchivan (which had its own independent station) and Nagorny Garabagh (which was not under Azerbaijani control), had a major power outage. The reason was unexpectedly high temperatures which could not be handled by Mingachevir Electric Station (the main electricity supplier of country). Although outage lasted for quite long, it didn't cause any serious problems. Engineers started recovering electric supply immediately, starting from capital city Baku, and soon lights were on again in the country.[181]

On September 6, the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake, which knocked out power to about 2.95 million customers in around Hokkaido, mainly due to damaged in thermal power station of Tomato-Azuma, according to Japan Federation of Electric Power Companies official confirmed report.[182]

On September 21 a severe thunderstorm, with wind gust up to 260 km/hr, hit the Ottawa/Gatineau region. The storm caused large scale damage to the power infrastructure, with 80 poles broken and one transformer station damaged. The destruction caused power outage for about 172,000 customers for intervals between few hours and several days.[183]

On October 15, a fire in La Arenosa electrical station in Carabobo, caused a massive blackout which affected 16 states in the northern part of Venezuela varying from 1 to 3 hours, although some persons report that it tooks 18 hours in some zones. The Electrical Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez reported that the cause of the fire was because of an explosion.[184]

On December 4, transmission line failures in south Saskatchewan caused widespread outages to 175,000 to 200,000 SaskPower customers for several hours. The outage was determined to be the result of significant frost collection on grid equipment. [185]

On December 20, a windstorm caused outages to 600,000 BC Hydro customers across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands. The windstorm damaged 300 power poles and 170 transformers. With lineman crews working round-the-clock, significant outages were still in effect a week later, with the last power restored December 31st. [186] [187] Winds reached speeds of 100 km/h. [188]


A nation-wide blackout affected Venezuela beginning on March 7, and is ongoing as of March 17. The blackout stemmed from the failure of Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant (Guri Dam) in the state of Bolívar, and left most of the country of nearly 32 million in darkness.[189] By March 12, power began returning to some parts of the country, but Caracas remained only partially powered and western Venezuela remained dark.[19] Government officials claimed the blackout was "an act of sabotage," while experts attributed the failure to aging infrastructure and insufficient maintenance.[190][19] As of March 10, 15 children were reported dead in the eastern city of Maturin due to lack of power in the city's neonatal units,[191] together with at least 15 kidney patients[192] and 4 other patients in the rest of the country.[193]


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Further reading[edit]