Tens of millions left without power after nationwide blackout hits Bangladesh

A Bangladeshi man walks in a shopping mall during a blackout in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A Bangladeshi man walks in a shopping mall during a blackout in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A huge power cut in Bangladesh left tens of millions of people nationwide without electricity for hours on Saturday.

The blackout hit the entire South Asian country after a failure on a line that imports power from neighboring India, authorities said.

It began around 11 a.m. Saturday, causing widespread disruption across the nation of more than 160 million people.

Shops were forced to close, hospitals resorted to backup generators to keep providing emergency services and people had to watch food spoil in their powerless refrigerators.

The blackout lasted into the night, plunging streets in the capital of Dhaka into darkness as people used candles and flashlights to find their way.

Power started to come back around 11 p.m. Saturday. And government officials said at a news conference Sunday morning that the electricity supply had been fully restored.

An eight-member team has been set up to investigate exactly what caused the massive outage.

Smaller-scale power cuts are frequent in Bangladesh, a poor nation that struggles to generate enough electricity to meet its needs.

But the country hadn’t experienced a nationwide blackout since the aftermath of a powerful cyclone in 2007.

A significant proportion of the population wouldn’t have been affected by Saturday’s outage, though. Around 40% of Bangladeshis don’t have access to electricity from the national grid, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

Source: CNN