All 14 provinces of southern region hit by historic blackout

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BANGKOK, May 22 — All 14 provinces in Thailand’s southern region were hit by a historic power outage Tuesday night after a transmission cable failure in Prachuap Khiri Khan cut off the electricity supply from the Central Region.

Electriciy Generating Authority of Thailand EGAT Deputy Governor-Transmission System Thana Putarungsi said that the power blackout was caused by a faulty high-voltage cable from Ratchaburi’s Chom Bueng district to Bang Saphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan, the main and only power transmission line from the Central region to the South.

He said southern region electricity use has grown by 10 per cent. Power generation in the southern provinces was insufficient to respond to the high demand and additional supply is needed from the Central region.

The malfunction of the transmission line disrupted the power supply and left the public in darkness for hours.

He said that electricity delivery has fully resumed to the southern provinces.

To deal with the blackout, he said EGAT power plants in Surat Thani and Krabi have boosted their electricity generation to full capacity to make up for the shortfall.

EGAT has also bought electricity from Malaysia while it repairs the power transmission lines in Bang Saphan district. Restoration was completed just before midnight.

Mr Thana admitted the blackout was the biggest in 30 years since the nationwide blackout in 1978.

He apologised to the public for the inconvenience and said an investigation would be carried out to find the cause of the faulty high-voltage cable.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters before leaving for Japan to attend forum on “The Future of Asia” that she has assigned Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal to inspect blackout in the south and is seeking a prevention plan to avoid repetition of the incident.