Blackout in Bangladesh after power grid failure

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Image Source: Bloomberg

According to the government’s power utility company, Bangladesh experienced significant blackouts on Tuesday afternoon, leaving at least 130 million people without electricity.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rising global energy prices have exacerbated Bangladesh’s power crisis, necessitating frequent service interruptions to preserve electricity.

The unscheduled blackout that occurred on Tuesday after 2 p.m. local time (0 p.m. GMT) and affected more than 80% of the country is still being investigated, according to the Power Development Board.

Except for a few locations in northwest Bangladesh, “the remainder of the country remains without power,” according to Shamim Ahsan, a spokesman for the Power Development Board.

At least 130 million individuals lacked energy, and Ahsan claimed that the cause of the issue was still unclear.

He said the incident was still under investigation and a technical problem was probably to blame.

A junior minister of information technology named Zunaid Palak wrote on Facebook that Dhaka, the country’s capital and home to more than 22 million people, would have electricity restored by eight o’clock.

Energy crisis

As utilities struggle to find enough diesel and gas to meet demand, the country’s electricity infrastructure has been hit badly in recent months by the surge in energy prices.

Due to its declining foreign exchange reserves and currency depreciation, Bangladesh was forced to shut down many gas-fired power plants and idle several diesel units since it could not import enough fossil fuels.

The government initiated lengthy power outages in July to maintain existing supplies, with the longest outages lasting up to 13 hours per day.

Thousands of mosques across the country have been asked to use less air conditioning in order to reduce the strain on the electricity infrastructure.

Numerous protests were held in the country’s capital city of Dhaka due to widespread public dissatisfaction over the outages.

Security forces murdered at least three protesters during the demonstrations, which were partly motivated by growing worries over the expense of living.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party asserts that an extra 100 people were harmed during a police crackdown on one demonstration.

Consumer inflation has significantly impacted household finances; thus, the government recently agreed to cap the price of several essential goods, including rice, to appease the public.

Read Also: Bangladesh cuts school hours to save power 

In November 2014, Bangladesh experienced its most recent large unscheduled blackout, which left approximately 70% of the country without energy for about 10 hours.

Bangladesh boat disaster’s death toll rises to 51

According to authorities, a boat carrying Hindu pilgrims collapsed, killing at least 51 people and left dozens more missing in Bangladesh’s deadliest waterways tragedy in more than a year.

In the Karatoya river near Boda town in the northern Panchagarh district on Sunday, a small boat carrying mostly women and children capsized as onlookers screamed in fear from the shore.

Emergency officials informed Anadolu on duty that the rescue effort had been suspended for Monday night and would resume Tuesday.

The finding of seven dead in the river was first reported by district police chief Sirajul Huda. More than 50 of the approximately 90 people on board, according to the police, were Hindu pilgrims traveling to the temple in commemoration of Mahalaya, when Hindus offer sacrifices to their ancestors.

According to Panchagarh district administration Jahurul Islam, 16 women and 10 children were among the corpses discovered so far. The family informed him that the authorities were compiling a list of individuals who were missing.

He claims that a five-person team is investigating the matter and thinks that the calamity was brought on by traffic.

Durga Puja, a significant Hindu holiday in Bangladesh and other parts of South Asia, started on Sunday. As a result, numerous Hindus visit the Bodeshwari Temple in Bangladesh, a country where Muslims make up the bulk of the population.