Just one day after a massive power failure left more than 300 million people in the dark, India's power grid has collapsed again, cutting power to more than 600 million.
This afternoon both the northern and eastern power grids shut down, leaving half the country sweltering with no air conditioning or fans, no train or metro service. Indian Express says when the power grid collapsed around 1pm, Metro trains in Delhi were stopped dead, several were inside tunnels and passengers who were trapped inside were evacuated immediately.
NDTV reports that electricity was partially restored after about an hour and a half. Hospitals and airports are again operating on emergency generators and there are no reports of any flight interruptions. UPDATE: most areas have had power restored by 9:30pm local time (noon EDT) an 8+ hour outage.
Yesterday's power outage was the worst in a decade in India and affected 7 states including New Delhi, as reported by Digital Journal. The power was out for as long as 15 hours in some places. Today's blackout, according to NDTV is being described as one of the world's largest power outages.
Reports suggest today's crisis was triggered after four states; Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, drew more than their assigned share of power. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde says, "I have told states using more power than they are meant to stop it. They shall be punished."
Fox News reports that the demand for electricity in India has soared along with its economy, but it seems the utilities haven't been able to keep up with the demand. India's Central Electricity Authority reports power deficits of more than 8% in recent months. But Fox also says electricity is still a luxury for many. According to last year's census, one-third of Indian homes don't have access to any electricity.