The Great Kuching Blackout
If there’s anything bad that could come out of Beijing’s spectacular opening ceremony last night, it would be that everyone in Kuching seems to be blaming it for the city-wide 3 hour-blackout. So goes a message from one of my friends, “The opening ceremony sucked all of our juice!”
Well as of writing, it’s been 3 hours and there’s still no sign of the lights. I have approximately 1.5 hours remaining off my laptop’s battery and what’s left of my Dad’s iPaq, which is what I’m using to hook up DiGi’s EDGE network.
The candlelight flame in front of me burns as still as a needle, a stark reminder (if I even need one) of just how still and stuffy the air around me is now. Mosquitoes are circling around me for that opportunity to dive and attack. The nerve!
More to come.
It all began at around 6.30pm when my laptop went kaput in front of my eyes. Along with the power supply of the whole neighbourhood and reportedly, major cities in Sarawak. Thinking it was just going to be a minor annoyance I decided to sleep it out, as blackouts in Kuching has happened a few times, albeit in short intervals throughout the year. I soon found out how wrong I was.
A nap proved impossible with all those mosquito bites. Distraught at the idea of spending the night at home in the dark with those bloody insects, we decided to head out for dinner. It was then when messages started streaming in from friends asking about the blackout. It didn’t took long for it to become apparent that it affected the whole of Kuching.
We headed out anyway and sought to have dinner “where the lights are” unquote Dad. Thing is, everybody had the same idea when roads everywhere became rivers of lights in the midst of the pitch-black surroundings. The usual glittery LEDs and signboards of 3rd mile were plunged into darkness, even the flashy Boulevard Mall stood gloomily in the dark.
Big bad jam off the 3rd mile flyover. Photo taken off a video frame, hence the quality.
That bright spotlight to the left you see in the photo above was the golf course at Jalan Keretapi, that area, however weird, was the only area as far as our eyes could see to have power supply. Needless to say, we ended up having our dinner at Aunty Lily’s in the vincinity of the golf course.
Thoroughout our dinner, the huge traffic jam in our view on the main road didn’t ease at all. It was clearly pitch-back just across the road and beyond.
It was approximately 8.00pm, almost 2 hours into the blackout when the lights suddenly went off at Aunty Lily’s, joining the rest of Kuching in darkness.
The traffic outside became increasingly chaotic as sirens blare through. As we counted, we heard two ambulances, two patrol cars, and a bloody firetruck rushing past that road that night alone.
It was chaotic in Aunty Lily’s too when.. well, we couldn’t bloody eat without lights right?
Hi Mum! =)
We resorted to using my camera-phone’s LED flashlight to make sure we wouldn’t gobble down a spoonful with lizard crap on it.
At around 9pm, power miraculously returned to Jalan Keretapi, allowing us to finish our dinner and head back home.
To our dismay, by the time we arrived at 4 1/2 Mile, it was apparent that my neighbourhood was still deprived of power. Boulevard was still in its pitiful pitch-black state. So was our house, when we arrived home.
10:20PM: Power in parts of Kuching are already restored as of now, but still not here where I live! =(
10:40PM: Everything in 4 1/2 Mile is still nice and dark. It should be 4 hours since we last saw the lights. I guess I’m gonna get off my laptop now and try to sleep. If the electricity comes back, I’ll update. 57 mins of juice remaining. Sigh.
By the way, it seems the whole of Sarawak is experiencing this. No idea how far has it restored though. Check out this news report from The Star: Blackout in Sarawak
10:51PM: Wooooooots! Lights are back! =D ..after 4 and a half hours.