Power-ageddon: Timeline of Taiwan's massive blackout

Timeline of the massive power blackout which hit Taiwan on Tuesday at 4:51 p.m. and affected more than 6.68 million households

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A sudden power blackout hit Taiwan on Tuesday at 4:51 p.m., affecting more than 6.68 million households in many cities and counties across Taiwan.

The outage hit Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan along with of Miaoli, Nantou, and Chiayi counties, after an operational error occurred at Datan Power Station (Tatan,大潭電廠) in Taoyuan. The following is a timeline of Tuesday's power blackout:

  • On Tuesday at 4:51 p.m., the Datan Power Station's gas supply was inadvertently cut for 2 minutes by CPC Corporation Taiwan, causing all 6 generators to collapse in Taoyuan. Shutting down the full capacity of the power plant and cutting 4.35 million kilowatts from the country’s power supply.
  • Voltage reduction of the 6 generators affected a power plant in Taichung, resulting a in a total shortage of 4.65 million kilowatts countrywide, according to Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, 台電).
  • Department stores and shopping malls in Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung had to evacuate their customers shortly after the blackout.
  • From 6 p.m. to 9:40 p.m. three rounds of rolling blackouts were implemented: Round One affected 2.37 million households, Round Two impacted 1.95 million homes, and Round Three hit 2.36 million houses.
  • Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) announced his resignation, which was accepted by Premier Lin Chuan (林全).
  • A total of 96 post offices blacked out and their automated teller machines were suspended. The water supply in the greater Taipei area was also affected.
  • Power supply was fully restored by 9:40 p.m.

Lee will officially hand over his resignation on Wednesday or Thursday, according to Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) Cabinet spokesman

Lee's replacement, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), was named on Wednesday

Throughout the crisis, Taiwan's national defense system remained intact, according to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉), who assured the public that the country's national defenses continued completely functional and able to handle any difficulty.

With the notable exception of the Maokong Gondola, where 255 passengers were temporarily stranded when power was lost, public transportation system remained largely intact. Only a  few Taiwan Railways Administration stations reported a disruption, while the Taiwan High Speed Rail, airports and national highways suffered no impact at all, 30 Youbike stations lost power due to the outage.