by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Sept 15, 2011
Millions of South Koreans suffered rare power cuts Thursday due to unusually high autumn temperatures and scheduled maintenance work, officials and reports said.
The Korea Power Exchange reported temporary blackouts in many areas around the country, affecting as many as 1.62 million houses.
"This is extremely rare...I haven't seen a blackout of this scale," a spokesman told AFP.
"Power demand has been unusually high due to unseasonably hot fall weather, causing a shortage," he said, adding that the cuts were expected to end when the temperature dropped in the evening and demand fell.
The maximum temperature Thursday was 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit), recorded in the southern port of Busan.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the temporary shutdown of power plants for maintenance and unexpectedly high demand may have caused the problem.
"Some power plants remained shut down for regular maintenance," a ministry official told AFP, adding power supplies were also cut due to a shortage of electricity.
Yonhap news agency said the shortage could cause a days-long nationwide blackout.
Firefighters in many parts of the country were swamped with emergency calls from people trapped in lifts.
"This afternoon fire stations have received 944 emergency calls nationwide from people trapped in elevators," Lee Sang-Moon, a duty officer at the National Emergency Management agency, told AFP.
Traffic police were on alert after about 2,900 of the country's 34,000 traffic signals were out, resulting in traffic jams.
Hundreds of factories were also hit by a power failure, but some big companies using their own emergency generators were not affected.
Power cuts are rare in South Korea, a highly industrialised nation of more than 48 million people. In January, the government appealed to people to turn down the heating as demand soared during an exceptionally cold winter.
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Global investment in clean energy hits $243 bn: UN
United Nations (AFP) Sept 13, 2011
Global investment in clean energy rose to a record $243 billion dollars last year with the vast majority concentrated in the world's top 20 economies, the United Nations said Wednesday. Many countries are struggling with the breakneck increase in climate change financing, however, according to a new UN Development Program (UNDP) guide to one of the world's fastest growing industries. Ove ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|