Fire up the generators, Auckland is without power again

, posted: 12-Jun-2006 09:24

It's deja vu all over again for Aucklanders this morning, as the CBD is without power. The Otahuhu power station is out of action for the time being, as an earth wire snapped and fell across a 110kV feeder line there. Power line company Vector doesn't yet know when the fault will be sorted out.

Apart from the CBD in Auckland, parts of Hamilton were hit by the power outage as well. A statement from Vector says the fault is on the Transpower Network, and that apart from parts of Wiri, Otahuhu and Takanini, "a significant power outage" is affecting Auckland City and Manukau City areas.

In 1998, Auckland's CBD was without power for five weeks after power cables feeding the area failed. The latest outage points to Auckland still being vulnerable with a single point of failure being able to knock out power for large parts of the city.

Update The northern motorway and Harbour Bridge are clogged with banked up slow moving traffic, adding further woes to an already miserable day for Aucklanders. Phones and switchboards at many CBD offices are dead too. This will place a greater load than usual on the cellphone networks, so it'll interesting to see how they hold up.

National internet connectivity seems to be affected too, with some providers saying they cannot reach Auckland at the moment, possibly due to the outage affecting communications to the APE in the Sky Tower.

The northern parts of the city - North Shore and Waitakere - are not affected yet.
Update II Power seems to be returning to Auckland now at 1.30 in the afternoon. The rain has stopped for the time being but it's still extremely windy. Telecom has sent out a release saying some customers' phone and data services may be affected by the power outage but that its network is up and running. I can tell that a lot of people are using T3G though, as the throughput is down to 60-70kbit/s downstream (but the upstream still goes at 120kbit/s).

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