Jakarta. Jakarta and major cities in West Java were hit by a massive electricity blackout on Sunday due to a problem with a transmission system on Java Island, state-run utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara said in a statement.
PLN said the Ungaran and Pemalang high-voltage transmission facilities that carry power from plants in the eastern part of Java Island broke down. This caused the Suralaya and Cilegon powerplants in Banten, which supply Jakarta and another 15 cities in West Java, to become overloaded, forcing them to shut down.
Made said the blackout in West Java affected Bandung, Bekasi, Cianjur, Cimahi, Cirebon, Garut, Karawang, Purwakarta, Majalaya, Sumedang, Tasikmalaya, Depok, Gunung Putri, Sukabumi and Bogor.
Distress in Jakarta
The blackout caused distress in Jakarta when four trains of the mass rapid transit system came to a standstill underground. All commuter trains also stopped, while nonfunctioning traffic lights resulted in traffic congestion.
"We deeply apologize for the problems we caused. We are currently working hard to return everything to normal," PLN spokesman I Made Suprateka said.
Made said six of the seven gas turbines at the Suralaya powerplant had to be shut down after experiencing problems. The seventh was off when the blackout occurred.
He said PLN has managed to source power from backup plants and that the network would hopefully return to normal soon.
Kereta Commuter Indonesia said the blackout affected all commuter trains in the greater Jakarta area.
KCI spokeswoman Anne Purba said the company assisted passengers to get off trains.
"We are getting in touch with related parties to resolve this problem as soon as possible," she said.
MRT Jakarta, the company that operates the city's mas rapid transit system, said it had managed to safely evacuate all passengers from the trains halted underground.