The whole nation of Sri Lanka was left under dark without power in a seven hour outage following a failure at a key electricity facility, the officials said.Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma said An unspecified “technical issue” at the Kerawalapitiya power complex just outside the capital Colombo was the cause of the blackout, which hit the 21 million people of nation at midday.
After seven hours the power was restored in Colombo, but some other parts of the island nation are yet to be reconnected.
Since March 2016, it was the worst disruption, when the whole country was without electricity for about more than eight hours following a massive system breakdown.
The public utility regulator said that there would be a probe into the failure and gave three days to the Ceylon Electricity Board, the state run electricity monopoly to explain the reason behind the massive disruption.
The power cut created chaos on congested roads in Colombo, where the traffic lights not operating and police struggling to man key intersections.
Water supply also got affected due to no electricity to operate the pumps.
Though the hospitals and other critical infrastructure in the country had power generators. The main airport has remained shut due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sri Lanka generates half of its electricity through thermal power. The rest comes from hydro and wind power.
Kerawalapitiya is an oil-fired thermal power station with a of 300-megawatt capacity, about 12 per cent of the country’s electricity demand.
Localised power breakdown are not uncommon but nationwide outages are rare.