PHUKET: The entire island will be without power for nine hours on July 25, the Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority (PPEA) has announced. The blackout, from 7 am to 4 pm, is necessary because of work being done by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), which is replacing the main power line into Phuket. The new line will be able to carry much more power than the old one. Theoretically, this will dramatically reduce province-wide blackouts and brownouts, though localized power problems will continue until the PPEA distribution system can be brought up to international standards. The Telephone Organization of Thailand says that phone services will not be interrupted because the TOT uses a different power line from the main cable coming into Phuket. Operations at the airport will also continue as normal, because the airport has its own standby power system. The same applies to hospitals. Government offices and post offices will also remain open. The Phuket Town Water Authority and the Provincial Water Authority have assured users that water supplies will be uninterrupted, though most private water supplies will be cut off for the day. Most gas stations will be shut down because there will be no power to run fuel pumps. Traffic police will have a busy day as traffic lights, too, will stop working. The Tesco Lotus Superstore will operate as normal, but only the ground floor of the Robinson Department Store will be open during the blackout. Access to the Internet will depend on which Internet Service Provider is used. CS Internet, KSC and Loxinfo told the Gazette that they will be working as normal. Asia Net and I-net, however, have only just been informed of the power outage and are currently looking for solutions. Some of Phuket’s banks already have emergency back-up power, and others contacted by the Gazette said that they would be making similar arrangements in order to ensure business as usual.
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