Tens of millions hit by Indonesia power blackout

Tens of millions hit by Indonesia power blackout

Emission From Vehicles Paves to Jakarta Air Pollution
A gridlock in Jakarta on Jul 17, 2019. (File photo: Nivell Rayda)

JAKARTA: Tens of millions of people on Indonesia's heavily populated Java island were affected by a widespread electricity outage Sunday (Aug 4) after disruptions at several power plants, the state utility PLN said.  

The shutdown hit parts of the sprawling capital Jakarta - home to around 30 million people - and forced the temporary closure of its new mass rapid transit system.

Passengers were safely evacuated from several MRT carriages when the power went out, according to the system's operator, while the city's commuter trains were also impacted.

"The train stopped when we approached the station," said Silviani, a passenger stranded at Sudirman station in central Jakarta. "They said it was a blackout. So we got out and walked here."

The blackout - which began around noon local time and was expected to last until later Sunday - caused sporadic disruptions in mobile phone services and cash machines, while some apartment buildings were left in the dark.

Jakarta MRT power blackout
Dukuh Atas BNI MRT station in Jakarta during a power blackout, Aug 4, 2019. (Screengrab: Reuters)

Jakarta unlit traffic light blackout
An unlit traffic light is seen in Jakarta during power blackout, Aug 4, 2019. (Screengrab: Reuters)

Many buildings had to resort to power generators to keep the lights on.

Outages also turned off some traffic lights, aggravating the capital's notorious congestion.

PLN said the blackout was caused when a gas turbine at a major power plant went down and by a disruption at another facility. Both are on the western end of Java.

"We're doing our best to fix the system so the power comes back to normal," it added.

Jakarta blackout traffic police
A traffic police helps pedestrians to cross a road in Jakarta during a power blackout, Aug 4, 2019. (Screengrab: Reuters)

The city of Jakarta is the centre for government and business in Indonesia and is home to more than 10 million people, with around three times that many people living in the surrounding towns in the provinces and West Java and Banten.

Source: Agencies/jt