Hundreds of Millions Lose Power in India
Northern power grid fails for first time since 2001
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2012 4:23 AM CDT
Passengers sit in a train and wait for power to get restored at a railway station in New Delhi, India, Monday, July 30, 2012.   (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

(Newser) – Northern India's power grid went down for the first time since 2001 early this morning, throwing hundreds of millions of people into the dark. Hundreds of trains ground to a halt and hospitals were forced to use generators after the country's northern grid crashed around 2:30am, unable to keep up with the huge demand for power amid sweltering temps. Indeed, in a particularly hot summer, some states were using more power than was allocated to them, according to the head of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation.

The state of Uttar Pradesh can supply 9,000 megawatts of electricity, but its 200 million residents seek 11,000 megawatts at peak times, says an official. Eight states were hit with the outage. Some 60% of power is back up and running, with the rest expected by late afternoon, says the power minister. Officials plan to investigate the outage, AP reports.