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Special Situation Report – Bangladesh Power Outage & Solar Hyder Flare

Over the weekend Humanity Road volunteers activated to monitor a major Bangladesh power outage. Two events happened close together and this special situation report is being published as a general overview of events. On November 1, at approximately 0400 – 0600 UTC earth orbiting satellites detected a solar event called a Hyder Flare, a very short time later, the power grid in Bangladesh collapsed. There is no information at this time as to whether these events are related.

NOV 1 04:00 – 0600 UTC – Space Weather
“Earth-orbiting satellites detected a solar flare on Nov. 1st. Usually solar flares come from sunspots, but there were no sunspots anywhere near this blast. A movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows what happened.   The C3-category flare was caused by a filament of magnetism, which rose up and erupted between 0400 and 0600 UT. Some of the material in the filament fell back to the sun, causing a flash of X-rays where it hit the stellar surface. That was the flare. The rest of the filament flew out into space, forming the core of a massive CME. A movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows the CME billowing away from the sun.  Flares like this, which happen without sunspots, are called Hyder Flares. They help keep solar activity high even when sunspot counts are low. For recent and current alerts from NOAA visit  http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/alerts/warnings_timeline.html Solar flare alerts: text, voice   Source

NOV 1 05:30 – 0600 UTC- (Local time 11:30am – 12:00pm) Bangladesh Country Wide Power Outage

A blackout affecting millions in Bangladesh occurred at around 11:30am November 1.  “The national grid tripped” close to midday, Mr Alberuni said. “As a result, all the power generating stations automatically shut down.” (Source) The blackout began around 11:30 a.m., Mr. Beruni said, and by 5 p.m. about a quarter of the coverage area had been restored. Most of the residents of Dhaka, the capital of more than 10 million people, got electricity back on by 1 a.m.  Mohammad Nasir Uddin, a control room official of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company, told The Associated Press. Power was restored in other major cities too, but it was not clear how many people were still without electricity”  source

A Bangladeshi patient lies on her bed during a power blackout at a hospital in Dhaka (AFP/Getty Images)

 

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