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Blackout on Main Island Cuts Power to 40 Million

November 05, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

A massive power blackout plunged the main Philippine island of Luzon, home to 40 million people, into darkness for nine hours, disrupting communications and traffic and prompting a flurry of official denials of an impending coup.

"This talk of a coup . . . is not true," Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes said.

The blackout hit three hours after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo left for Brunei for a summit, and it followed newspaper reports that army officers were planning a putsch.

A National Power Corp. official called the blackout "a freak accident" caused when three major generating facilities simultaneously tripped.

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