Taiwan president calls for ‘thorough investigation’ of nationwide blackouts
Beijing, March 4 (EFE).- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Friday “to investigate thoroughly” and “as soon as possible” the causes of blackouts registered in numerous areas of the island.
The president, who held a Thursday meeting with Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang, and representatives of different ministries, also called in a Facebook post a “general inspection of the electrical infrastructure” of the island and “clarification of responsibilities.”
Also, Tsai announced that she will visit the Hsinta plant, located in the southern city of Kaohsiung and “origin of the blackouts,” according to a preliminary investigation cited yesterday by Taiwanese government spokesman Lo Ping-cheng.
According to the Taiwan Electric Company (Taipower), the blackouts were the result of “human error” during the “electrical switchgear operation” at the Hsinta plant.
The president said “the accident did not occur during peak hours” and that said “operational carelessness” had “a national impact,” which, in her opinion, shows “the lack of resilience and the problems of the electricity supply” of the territory.
Although the supply “is practically restored,” Tsai said she apologized “for the inconvenience.”
Taipower director and president Yang Wei-fuu and Chung Bin-li offered her resignation during a Thursday meeting with Su.
The blackouts, which affected some 5.49 million people, were recorded Thursday in the capital Taipei and in New Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Changhua, Hualien and Miaoli, according to the Taiwanese agency CNA.
Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua said Thursday that industries and individuals affected by the cuts would be compensated.
The Taiwan Fire Agency had received by Thursday afternoon 274 reports of people trapped in elevators, who managed to be rescued.
Also, the Taiwan Railways Administration reported delays in 36 trains that affected 4,000 passengers.
In May, a breakdown in the same power plant left some four million homes without power for several hours. EFE