Sri Lanka Plunged Into Darkness By Nationwide Power Cut

More than 21 million people were left without electricity after a nationwide blackout on Sri Lanka.

The outage hit the South Asian nation at approximately midday local time on Monday 17 August.

Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma blamed the incident on a “technical issue” at the Kerawalapitiya power plant.

Also known as Yugadanavi, the 300 MW oil-fired thermal power station just outside the capital Colombo generates more than a tenth of Sri Lanka’s electricity.

The outage led to chaos on Colombo’s notoriously congested roads. Traffic lights were out of action and police struggled to control the flow of traffic. It also impacted water supplies to several parts of the country.

Supplies were restored to the capital after seven hours. But many parts of the island nation hadn’t been reconnected, with the Energy Ministry suggesting it could take several more hours.

The Energy Ministry has given state-run electricity supplier the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) three days to provide an explanation for the blackout.

The incident is the worst power outage in the country since an eight-hour nationwide blackout in March 2016, which was the biggest in more than 20 years.

Sri Lanka generates more than half its electricity through thermal power, with hydro and wind contributing most of the rest.

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