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BLACKOUT

Millions in the dark as Java's juice goes down

Powerless: Jakarta has been plunged into the dark by a series of power station failures.
Powerless: Jakarta has been plunged into the dark by a series of power station failures. BAY ISMOYO / AFP

Tens of millions of people on Indonesia's heavily populated island of Java were affected by a widespread electricity outage Sunday after the national generating company reported disruptions at several power plants.

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The shutdown plunged buildings in the capital Jakarta -- home to some 30 million people -- into darkness and forced the temporary closure of its new mass rapid transit system.

Passengers were safely evacuated from several MRT carriages when the power went out, according to the system's operator, while commuter trains were also affected.

Jakarta's hospitals and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport were not affected because they have backup power generators, officials said.

The city's governor Anies Baswedan asked residents to reduce travel and conserve water until power is restored.

The blackout -- which began around noon local time and was expected to last until later Sunday -- caused sporadic disruptions to mobile phone services and cash machines, while some apartment buildings were left in the dark.

Outages also turned off some traffic lights, aggravating the capital's notorious congestion.

The national electricity suupplier said the blackout was caused when a gas turbine at a major power plant went down and by a disruption at another facility.

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