12 Sep 2006

PNG's Lae hit by power failure

3:59 pm on 12 September 2006

Papua New Guinea's second biggest city, Lae, was plunged into darkness for hours last night.

The newspaper, the Post Courier, reports that Lae's power supply from the Ramu Hydro system at Yonki was disrupted at 4 pm, and six hours later the power supply had not been restored.

The entire city was in total darkness.

To make matters worse, the city's standby power generators at Milfordhaven broke down and refused to start.

PNG Power in Lae says it may have been a line problem between the Ramu Hydro system at Yonki and Lae which severed the power supply to the city.

An officer said it meant PNG Power technicians would need to trace the route of the lines in order to fix it, and many of the areas through which the lines run are inaccessible at night.

Residences and small businesses without standby generators were the most affected.