Jakarta outage leaves 10 million without power


The Indonesian capital of Jakarta was hit by an outage on Sunday, local time, leaving approximately 10 million people in the capital and surrounding provinces of West Java and Banten provinces without power.

The blackout began at 11h50 local time. State power company PLN reported that they’d been able to switch 17 electrical substations around Jakarta back on by 9:00PM, with two others in the process of being restarted, and a further four still offline.

According to PLN, faulty transmission circuits on the Ungaran to Pemalang line in Central Java caused cascading voltage drops that hit the grid in Jakarta, and said further it would take a few more hours to restore power to West Java and Banten provinces.

“The recovery process is still ongoing and indeed it cannot be turned back on at once immediately, but rather gradually we try to normalise with maximum efforts,” said acting PLN CEO Sripeni Inten Cahyani.

Hospitals and the airport remained online due to back-up generation systems. Jakarta is prone to power-outages, but these are typically short in duration, and within certain areas. The train system was offline, and was evacuated.

There have been an unusual amount of national, or city-wide power outages occurring worldwide.

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The outage was followed by a visit to the utility’s offices by the country’s president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo this morning.

He expressed disappointment over the way the utility’s contingency plan, or possible lack thereof was deployed in the emergency.

“In big [companies] such as PLN, I think, there should be risk management – a contingency plan, or a backup plan. My question is, why is it not working quickly and properly?” the President said. “This does not only hurt PLN’s reputation but especially consumers.”

Jokowi urged for transparency, saying “If there’s any deficiency [in PLN] please be upfront. We need to settle this once and for all,”