Official resigns in power outage

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A MASSIVE power outage affected 6.88 million households in 17 counties and cities in Taiwan yesterday afternoon.
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A MASSIVE power outage affected 6.88 million households in 17 counties and cities in Taiwan yesterday afternoon, the island’s economic authority said at a press conference.

Last night, Lee Chih-kung, head of the economic authority which supervises the power supply, tendered his resignation.

Outages were reported after an operational error caused six generators to stop working at Taiwan’s biggest natural gas power plant in northern Taoyuan County, the government said.

Traffic lights failed in many parts of the island, while there were also incidents of people being trapped in elevators.

The island’s police agency set up an emergency response center to ensure order.

Repairs to restore the power supply are under way at Tatan Power Plant. The plant is vital as Taiwan suffers from power shortages in the scorching summer weather.

Taipei has had at least 10 days with maximum temperatures above 36 degrees Celsius, leading to peaks in power consumption.

A coal-fired generator at Ho-Ping Power Plant in Hualien County broke down early yesterday. Taiwan Power Corp previously said the breakdown would not affect the island’s power supply.

Major commercial districts, including Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan, suffered blackouts.

Electricity reserves were cut when a pylon operated by Ho-Ping Power Plant was blown over by Typhoon Nesat on July 29. 

The incident comes just weeks after the government came under fire for ordering air conditioning in official buildings to be turned off for several hours a day to save electricity.

Its popularity has also waned as it pushed pension cuts and judicial reforms.

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