If you are reading this right now, it’s very unlikely that you are doing so from a computer in India, where they have suffered their second major power failure this week. The first blackout occurred on Monday, leaving 350 million people without power across seven northern states, making it the country’s worst power outage in a decade.
Officials were able to restore power several hours later only to have the same power grid collapse again today, followed by two others. Affecting approximately half of India’s 1.2 billion people, the outage has brought the country’s metro system to a halt, leaving many commuters stranded. Emergency power was supplied immediately for area hospitals and to operate elevators to bring up miners trapped below ground.
The people of India are not strangers to these power outages. CNN reports the country has annual power shortfall of 8 percent and the loss of power occurs more frequently in the summer months, when demand increases due to rising temperatures and the need for air conditioning.
The magnitude of the failure has raised questions about the country’s infrastructure and whether sufficient investment is being made to keep up with growing demand. While India relies on coal to meet the majority of its energy needs, hydroelectric power is also used and has been impacted by the delay in monsoon rains.
“The situation is very grave. We are doing everything to restore power,” West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta said.
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