10 Facts About the Blackout in Parts of CBD Last Friday (With SP Group’s Response)

Everything in Singapore usually moves like clockwork.

Including us.

We wake up, get ready, brave the morning traffic and go to work or school.

Maybe we experience an MRT delay or a bus breakdown every so often, but that’s certainly not the norm.

So whenever something out of the ordinary occurs here in our little island, needless to say, it takes the country by storm.

And this was the case last Friday (1 June) when a part of the CBD area experienced a blackout.

I mean…this stuff just doesn’t really happen in Singapore. It’s almost like a snowy day here in Singapore.

So when it did, you’ll be sure everyone took to social media to post about it (without knowing what to do, obviously).

And that’s when I come in to give you the lowdown on what actually happened.

Complete with SP Group’s response to this whole saga.

1. So, what happened?

If you have been living under a rock the past weekend, let me fill you in.

So around 2:40 p.m. on Friday (1 June), there was a blackout that hit the CBD area. This included the Raffles, Chinatown, Shenton Way and Robinson Road area.

And it’s not just office buildings like Samsung Hub, China Square Central that were affected, leaving people with blank computer screens (though we’ll love that lah) and having to walk down 28 floors for meetings…

…but crowd-heavy places like Chinatown Point, The Arcade and Maxwell Food Centre also found themselves without power that fateful Friday afternoon.

2. People left work early. 

So obviously if a blackout occurs without warning and you’re sitting there for 5-10 mins, you’ll be like…

What now…sit here and stone the whole day?

Well, since no one knew what was happening, some bosses allowed their employees to clock off work early.

Super TGIF right?

Meanwhile, I was sitting in my office (that is in serious need of an update btw, pls give us some money), watching all my friends clock off early and thinking…wah blackout can come to Bukit Batok uhnot?

I also want to go home early leh…

(Just checked with my boss. He said everyone will spend the remaining time to clean up the office with torchlights if a blackout occurs, and some of us would have to go home to work to meet deadlines. Warning alert: Don’t work in Goody Feed. The fat boss should just go eat shit.)

3. McDonald’s was affected.

Well, the one most important to me was that McDonald’s in Chinatown Point was affected (God, please take anything but don’t touch the maccas)!

That’s why it deserves its own bullet point.

Okay, I’m being dramatic. The online ordering system for maccas at Chinatown Point was offline and so the staff had to start shouting out orders to each other.

I promise it wasn’t some barbaric, Neanderthalic, caveman scenario going on.

It was just like how life was a couple years back before all the fancy schmancy tech stuff got put in.

Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

4. Shopkeepers struggled.

So besides McDonald’s and its reversion back into the dark ages, life in the CBD was affected to varying degrees.

Shopkeepers found it difficult to operate as all the VISA and NETS machines were down. So customers couldn’t pay using card.

The cash registers were also down as they run on electricity. So customers could only give exact if they wanted to purchase food or drink.

I always knew it wasn’t very smart to become some techy cashless society…carry some physical cash around, people!

5. Lifts and traffic lights were down.

Lifts were also unresponsive, meaning some people were stuck in the lifts for the duration of the ordeal.

Traffic lights also ceased to function.

Thankfully, there were no accidents as everyone slowed down and obeyed traffic rules and right-of-way etiquette.

I guess Singaporeans only become very respectful and courteous drivers when there are no traffic lights hor…

6. No access to patients’ medical records.

Among those affected, probably the more serious one was how the blackout affected RP Medical Specialists at Malacca Centre.

Patients could not be seen as all medical records are now kept online and none of them could be accessed by the clinic.

Luckily none of the patients there had anything seriously wrong with them and opted to go home instead of waiting out the blackout.

But imagine if this happened in an area with hospitals…

…and oh, by the way, speaking of hospitals, do you know that doctors in TV and doctors in reality are very much different? Here, take a look at this video and you’ll understand (Song Joongki made a guest appearance):

(Since you’re here, subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more informative videos lah)

7. The power eventually came back on.

So the blackout didn’t last forever (of course lah). Life more or less went back to normal after about 35 minutes.

The power was fully restored via remote switching. However, there were businesses still affected after the power came back on.

Because there were issues with the company servers and Wifi after the blackout, work in many sectors could not resume and staff ended up clocking out early.

Even the Starbucks in Capital Tower needed some time for systems to reboot and equipment to resume functioning, meaning that customers only got their food and drinks an hour after the power came back.

But isn’t that normal for Starbucks anyway 😉 

8. The Apocalypse

Friday wasn’t just eventful because of the blackout.

Did you know that there was also a HUGE crack on the road in Adam Road?

This caused massive jams, as the road was partially closed for about two hours while it was being repaired.

Many people speculated that this was what caused the blackout (not true).

The crack along Adam Road was actually caused by water pressure building up underneath the road surface from rain water.

in two hours, this was fixed and the roads were opened and traffic cleared right up.

But with the huge ominous crack on the road, followed by a blackout in the CBD, netizens took to speculating that this was the end of the world.

Perhaps Thanos really had come for us after all.  

But hey, good news! If you’re reading this, it means you didn’t turn to ash – we are the survivors of the apocalypse! Did I just spoil anything?

9. The cause of the blackout.

Singapore Powers Group released a Facebook statement on Monday (4 June) talking about the cause of the blackout.

The blackout was essentially caused by their crew working at one of the substations. Someone forgot to remove a test component before re-energising the system.

And then, boom! Blackout!

I think someone’s head rolled that day…

SP Group also talked about how they accept full responsibility as it is their duty to provide safe and reliable power supply to Singapore 24/7, 365 days a year.

10. We have one of the best electricity grids in the world.

Singapore Powers have been providing us with electricity since 1995 (hey, that’s the year I was born in)! 

And did you know that because of them, we can proudly say that we have the best electrical system in the world?

Because we do. We rank the first in having the most efficient power infrastructure worldwide.

We also have some of the most reliable power systems globally, with an average interruption time of less than 1 minute per customer, per year.

This puts us way ahead of other global cities like Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and London.

So we’re doing pretty well, guys.

And there you go, 10 things about the blackout for you to catch up on.

At the very least, we Singaporeans will always remember 1 June 2018 to be…

Black Friday.

Hahaha, get it? Cuz there was a blackout on Friday?


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Rachael Divya

Rachael Divya

Life is one big adventure, so you can find her on the next flight out. (But when flights are too expensive, you can find her in bed catching up on the twenty TV shows she’s decided to watch.) Food time is her favourite time of every day, and way too many things interest her so now she’s just a jumbled-up ball of curiosity navigating this messy, happy little world she has.
Rachael Divya