1 Feb 2010

Major power cut in Northern Terrority

3:27 pm on 1 February 2010

A widespread power cut in the Northern Terrority of Australia on Sunday was caused by lightning. The blackout left all of Darwin, Palmerston and Katherine without power.

Power and Water says two 132,000 volt transmission lines that bring power from the Channel Island Power station to the terminal station, were hit by lightning at the same time.

The ABC reports more than 130,000 people were without electricity from just after 6am (ACST). All power was restored by 4.30pm.

Power and Water general manager Bertram Birk says winning the lottery is more likely than both transmission lines failing at the same time.

Mr Birk says the entire system collapsed and had to be completely rebuilt.

An emergency 1800 number was down for about an hour because it could not cope with the influx of calls it was receiving.