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Lanka goes dark after nationwide power breakdown

PTI Colombo | Updated on August 17, 2020

File picture of firefighters spraying disinfectants along a street in Colombo, Sri Lanka.   -  REUTERS

A massive power outage hit Sri Lanka on Monday, plunging the entire country into darkness and disrupting several services and businesses following a technical failure at a major power plant.

The power supply to several areas in Colombo, the Southern Province and Kurunegala was restored after over six hours, while some areas are still affected.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said the power disruption was due to a transmission failure at the Kerawalapitiya Grid Sub-Station.

Due to the power outage, the public has been severely inconvenienced and heavy traffic congestion has occurred on several roads in the capital city of Colombo due to the non-functioning of road signals.

Minister of Power and Energy Dullas Alahapperuma visited the Ceylon Electricity Board Head Office to inquire into the matter.

Speaking to media, the minister said all engineers and senior officials are working to rectify the situation and expressed confidence that power will be restored soon, the Colombo Page reported.

The minister ruled out any sabotage, recalling that a similar power outage had occurred in 2016. However, he said the Secretary to the Ministry has been instructed to appoint a committee to look into the power outage.

Chairman of the CEB, Vijitha Herath, said in the process of restoring the power supply, all hydropower plants will be activated first and then other power plants will be connected to their transmission centre.

The CEB expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the public due to the power outage.

Ruling out the possibility of sabotage, the official said a proper investigation needs to be done to ensure similar outages do not happen in future, the daily reported.

Published on August 17, 2020

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