Bermuda has experienced a widespread power outage since Friday evening, which has impacted the availability of internet and phone services on the island.
Deeming it a ‘serious incident’ at Bermuda’s sole electricity provider, the government advised customers to ‘unplug all sensitive electrical equipment’ as crews worked around the clock on the restoration efforts.
Located in the western North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is a self-governing British Overseas Territory with a population of around 64,000.
Power Down: Bermuda Unplugged
Early Friday evening, BELCO, Bermuda’s sole electricity provider said he was working to restore power amid a “mass blackout” affecting the island.
The Bermuda government has acknowledged the “serious incident” at the electricity supplier and issued new guidelines.
(1/2) The government has been informed that there has been a serious incident at Belco which has resulted in a power outage across the island.
Belco is currently working on restoring power.
— Bermuda Government (@BdaGovernment) February 3, 2023
“National Security Minister Michael Weeks has been kept informed of progress,” the statement said.
“Currently all government offices are closed and the public is encouraged to unplug sensitive equipment. Updates will be available via the emergency broadcast [Station] at 100.1 FM.”
Power surges that often follow a power outage can damage voltage-sensitive devices such as laptops, cell phones, medical equipment, and more.
The government has asked residents to keep roads clear and to refrain from calling 955, the BELCO line to report power outages.
A breakdown affects the Internet and telephones
Reports suggest that the massive power outage in the British Overseas Territory has also affected much of the region’s internet connectivity, with some customers additionally losing their phone connection.
Internet monitoring organization NetBlocks confirmed hours after the power cut that internet connectivity across the luxury island had fallen to around 30% of normal levels. Cloudflare Radar further observed a noticeable drop in Internet traffic in the region.
Confirmed: A major power outage interrupted internet connectivity in much of #Bermuda; real-time network data shows national connectivity up to about 30% of ordinary levels; incident comes amid reports of serious incident at Belco pic.twitter.com/azBbqNfqUh
—NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 3, 2023
BELCO breakdown map last reported 4,464 customers out of power. On Friday, 8:30 p.m. (Bermuda time), the company had restored electricity for approximately 90% of its customers, with all circuits restored at 9:45 p.m. Customers who are left without electricity can now call 955.
Around 11:00 p.m., Cloudflare Radar observed Internet traffic levels are gradually returning to normal.
“First and foremost, the safety of our staff and the public. I am pleased to report that all of our staff are safe and accounted for,” said Wayne Caines, President of BELCO. said in a report.
The cause of this widespread but mysterious incident has yet to be discovered.
“I sincerely apologize to our customers for the [inconvenience] caused by today’s outage. We will perform a root cause analysis of today’s outage and report the results in due course. Allow me to thank our staff at BELCO who acted quickly and professionally to ensure power was restored as quickly and safely as possible.”
BELCO’s latest major island-wide blackout occurred in December 2020.