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Normality returning to Trinidad after lengthy blackout

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Corporation (T&TEC) has apologized for a more than 12-hour power outage in Trinidad that severely disrupted life. The blackout caused water shortages, traffic gridlock, early closure of businesses, and inconvenienced mobile and land telecommunication devices users. Normality has returned to the country following the lengthy electricity blackout.

T&TEC says a fault on the Gandhi Village/Union Estate 220 KV line resulted in system instability and caused all the generating machines operated by Independent Power Producers to trip. As a result, the devices at Trinidad Generation Unlimited went into shutdown mode leading to a loss of supply to all customers in Trinidad.

The sister isle of Tobago was not affected by the power blackout.

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T&TEC’s general manager Kelvin Ramsook said while they could identify the faulted location, they were still investigating the reason.

“We have never had this situation occurring for many years, and all four generating stations are separated, and we are having challenges getting the capacity back onto the grid and interconnection thereafter,” he said.

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzalves, who has promised an independent investigation into the incident, says he will make recommendations to Cabinet to ensure that another such situation does not occur as he apologized to the country “for this major disruption and inconvenience.”

While he praised T&TEC workers for “going out of their way and collaborating with independent power producers to bring electricity back, he noted that what transpired has exposed the vulnerabilities on the electrical grid.

Blackout affected water, mobile, and landline services

The Water and Sewerage Authority said most of its treatment facilities and booster stations were also severely affected and warned it might take 24 to 72 hours for the supply to normalize to some affected areas.

Mobile users were also affected by the situation even though the two primary providers, B Mobile and Digicel, kept communication running through their cell towers.

Acting Police Commissioner, McDonald Jacob, said that police deployed officers to ensure the safety of citizens amid reports of robberies and other criminal activities.

Many people flocked to supermarkets to purchase candles and batteries as it became clear that the blackout could last for several more hours.

CMC/

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