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8 million lose power in massive Thailand blackout

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 4:58 a.m. HST, May 21, 2013

BANGKOK >> A massive power failure has affected more than 8 million people in Thailand's 14 southern provinces, including popular tourist areas such as Koh Samui and Phuket, in one of the country's biggest blackouts in recent memory.

Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand official Thatri Rewcharoen says the blackout was triggered Tuesday evening by the failure of the main high voltage transmission line connecting the south to the central region. He said power was restored in some areas within about an hour, but it was expected to take at least three hours for a full recovery.

Key installations such as airports and hospitals were reported to be running on emergency back-up electricity supplies. No problems were immediately reported in the country's three southernmost provinces, home to a Muslim insurgency.

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