Power outage plunges Dutch capital of Amsterdam into darkness

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A large blackout hit the Dutch capital of Amsterdam on early Tuesday morning, leaving at least 364,000 customers without power and bringing transportation services to a halt. Power has since been restored to most areas.

The outage began at about 4:15 a.m. local time when most of the capital plunged into darkness. The outage also affected parts of nearby cities and towns, including Zaandam, Purmerend, Landsmeer, Bloemendaal, and several other areas.

Utility company Liander said the fault originated at the Hemweg power plant in Amsterdam, though specific details about the cause were not immediately available. At least 364,000 customers were initially without power, indicating that as many as 1 million people may have been affected.

Just before 7 a.m., Liander reported that the number of affected customers had fallen to 200,000, and this number further decreased to 88,000 by 7:30 a.m. Power in all areas of Amsterdam was restored by 8:20 a.m., though 27,000 customers in Zaandam remain without power.

The unusual blackout led to a sudden surge in phone calls, causing a brief overload of the mobile phone network, the regional fire department said.

A regional emergency was declared by the emergency services as they made sure residents were safe. “As many police units as possible are out on the street because of the power outage in Amsterdam. The night shift also remains in service,” a police spokesperson said during the blackout.

Tram and metro services in Amsterdam were suspended during the outage, as well as all train services to and from the capital. “The effects of this are spreading to other parts of the country,” Dutch Railways (NS) said, urging travelers to delay their travel to Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Schiphol Airport.

The blackout also affected a number of websites that are hosted in Amsterdam. The website and apps of De Telegraaf, which is the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, was offline for hours as a result of the outage.

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