World

World's top massive power outages

The energy crisis affecting half of India is the latest in a string of massive power outages that have cut elctricity to millions of people around the world in recent years.
The San Diego skyline is seen from Coronado, Calif., during a power outage on Sept. 8, 2011. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

The energy crisis affecting half of India is the latest in a string of massive power outages that have cut electricity to millions of people around the world in recent years.

Three of India's regional power grids collapsed Tuesday, leaving 620 million people without government-supplied electricity in one of the world's biggest-ever blackouts.

Other massive power outages include:

  • On Nov. 10, 2009, storms near the Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the Paraguay-Brazil border were blamed for outages that cut power to as many as 60 million people in Brazil for two to three hours. The entire nation of Paraguay, population seven million, was also briefly blacked out.
  • A German power company switched off a high voltage line over a river to let a cruise ship pass in November 2006. It triggered outages for 10 million people in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
  • On Aug. 18, 2005, an imbalanced power grid kicked power plants offline in Indonesia left almost 100 million people in the dark, many for more than five hours.
  • A short in a power line in Switzerland on Sept. 28, 2003, led to blackouts affecting 95 percent of Italy. Some 55 million people were without power for as long as 18 hours.
  • On Aug. 14, 2003, power line problems in the U.S. Midwest triggered a cascade of breakdowns that cut power to 50 million people in Canada and the United States, some for more than a day.
  • Lightning hit a power substation in Brazil's Sao Paulo state on March 11, 1999, leaving 97 million people without power for as long as five hours.
  • A 1998 ice storm knocked out power to more than five million people in parts of Canada, from eastern Ontario through southern Quebec and New Brunswick. Thirty people died, nearly 1,000 were injured and some residents remained without power for weeks.

With files from CBC News