Blackout! 5 Of The Largest Power Outages In History

For the average person, a power outage is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Sure, you might have been watching your favorite show or in the middle of a load of laundry, but it is not the end of the world. After all, the problem is usually fixed within an hour or two. However, there have been some major power outages that some felt did signal the end of the world. These outages were so bad that they caused widespread panic and even some deaths. Here are 5 of the biggest power outages in history.

January, 2001, India

In 2001, the Uttar Pradesh substation in northern India suddenly collapsed, shutting down the entire northern grid of India's power structure. The power outage was so widespread that it took an incredible 12 hours to fix the problem.

It is quite well known that the country is home to over a billion people, so you can imagine just how many people were affected by this outage. To be precise, 226 million people were completely without power for those 12 hours. The outage didn't just affect people in their homes. It is estimated that the outage cost Indian businesses a staggering $107.1 million.

July, 1977, New York City

In 1977, lightning struck one of New York's nuclear power plants, causing a large portion of the city to be without power. What's more, a second lightning strike compounded the initial damage, widening the blackout throughout the city. Nine million people were without power for at least 26 hours.

The power outage caused panic throughout the city. Rioting and looting broke out and the city was in pandemonium. When it was all said and done, over 4,500 people had been arrested and 1,000 arson incidents had been extinguished.

August, 1996, West Coast of North America

In 1996, a storm caused trees to brush against a set of major power lines throughout Oregon and Washington. Unfortunately, these power lines were near a major dam. The outage caused 13 hydroelectric turbines to fail, knocking out power for up to 6 hours.

The outage was massive. It is estimated that 7.5 million people were without power. The effected areas ranged from the tip of western Canada to parts of Mexico!

September, 2003, Italy

In 2003, a power outage affected virtually the entire population of Italy. The country was host to an all night art festival, which brought in tens of thousands of people from all over the world. Sometime during the night a couple of power lines on the Swiss power system that Italy was functioning on overloaded, causing all of the train lines to fail.

Citizens were without power for hours, and over 100 trains were shut down for the day. Tens of thousands of people that used to trains to get into Italy were displaced.

August, 2003, Northern American and Canada

The biggest blackout in North American history occurred when four of the major power lines in Ohio were disrupted by blowing trees. What's more, a failure in the computer system made the power outage even worse. The power outage left 50 million people without power for as long as four days.

The outage was a huge blow to the economy. When it was over, the outage caused billions of dollars in economic damage for the surrounding areas. The lack of power and looting that occurred also contributed to at least 11 deaths across some northern U.S. states and Canada.

So, next time the power goes out in your home, try not to panic or get upset. Just imagine what your life would be like if you had no power or water for an extended period of time and wait patiently for the electrician to fix it.