Taiwan suffers massive blackout that leaves many without power

Taipei

Major cities across Taiwan including the capital Taipei have seen widespread power failures after a reported accident at a power plant.

The nation’s economic minister Wang Meihua said an accident had occurred at a power plant in southern Taiwan, according to a report by state-linked Central News Agency.

She added that the ministry would deal with the matter “urgently”.

It comes as Taiwan’s president is set to meet the US ex-Secretary of State.

Tsai Ing-wen later said in a Facebook post that a scheduled livestream of her chat with Mike Pompeo had to be temporarily cancelled as a result.

State-run power operator Taipower said there had been an incident with a transformer at the Xingda power plant in the southern city of Kaohsiung, and that they were activating backup sources of power.

The power plant reportedly provides around a seventh of Taiwan’s power.

Local media outlet Taiwan News had earlier on Thursday reported chaotic scenes at road junctions as traffic lights failed to function.

Traffic police had been dispatched to direct vehicles and fire trucks deployed across cities to deal with emergencies such as rescuing people trapped in lifts, the news outlet reported.

The island does occasionally experience large power outages. In 2017, a massive blackout hit half of Taiwan, affecting 6.68 million households.

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