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[UPDATE] Broken Wire Leaves Southern Vietnam Powerless

Tuoi Tre is reporting that a section of the 500 KV wire that connects the power grid between north and south, “fell apart,” cutting power to 22 provinces in southern Vietnam. While power has returned to much, if not all of Saigon, state energy company, EVN is still investigating the cause:

“According to Nguyen Anh Vu, an official at the national power supply corporation Vietnam Electricity (EVN). Vu said this is force majeure and EVN is trying its best to fix the situation as soon as it can. His firm is still examining the cause of the breakdown, the official said.

Huynh Minh Hai, director of EVN’s branch in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, said that this was the first time such a huge incident had occurred in Vietnam over the last 100 years."

Saigon was in complete disarray during the blackout which dipped into the start of rush hour. Traffic lights were rendered useless and left police scrambling to untangle traffic; city water supply plants closed down for an hour; shops and schools closed early while workers in offices without generators flooded the streets to escape the heat.

We’ll update you as soon as we get information pertaining to the cause of the blackout.

[Tuoi Tre]

Update: According to VietnamNetBridge, this afternoon's blackout was caused by...a crane:

"It is reported that at about 1.40pm, driver Ngo Tan Thao controlled a crane in a nursery in Thu Dau Mot City where the 500 KV transmission line running through. The crane hit the transmission line, caused a loud bang. The whole area lost power immediately. The power was transmitted to the crane, making the front wheels blast."  

Yowza. I bet that guy feels like crap right about now.

EVN is hoping to restore power to remaining blacked out areas tonight.

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