One day after a huge blackout cut off power to nearly a third of India, a second major outage has spread even further, leaving an estimated 600 million people without electricity. According the BBC, both the northern and eastern grids collapsed at around 1:00 p.m. local time, affecting more than half of the nation's one billion people. The capital of Delhi and the former capital of Kolkata are reportedly completely without power, forcing Metro services in Delhi to evacuate passengers from underground trains. Over 4,000 police officers have been dispatched to handle traffic, since there are no working stop lights.
The northern grid collapsed for nearly six hours on Monday, leaving approximately 300 million people without power in sweltering summer temperatures. The reason for both outages is believed to be simple overuse as certain areas have overloaded a system that is regularly strained to its capacity.
The Times of India is still online, fortunately, and they have live updates on the outages and the response.
UPDATE: A third grid in the Northeast has now failed. At least one columnist is already looking at the silver lining, hoping that this could finally spur India to upgrade its infrastructure. There is also a report of miners trapped underground by the power failure.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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