Thu, Aug 04, 2011 - Page 15 News List

Squirrel causes power outage in 600 households
松鼠觸電失火造成600戶停電

A firefighter holds the electrocuted squirrel that caused a power outage in hundreds of households while high-voltage power cables burn on the ground in this photo taken in Miaoli County on July 26.
這張於七月二十六日攝於苗栗縣的照片,是位拿著造成數百戶家庭停電的電死松鼠的消防員,此時消防員背後路面有高壓電線燃燒著。

Photo: Chang Hsun-teng, Taipei Times
照片:自由時報記者張勳騰

Early in the morning around dawn last month, a squirrel in Miaoli County’s Touwu Township climbed onto the high-voltage power cables hanging from utility poles at the side of County Road 13. The rodent was electrocuted on the spot when it touched the cables, which caught fire and caused a power outage in an estimated 600 households, depriving two entire villages of electricity. Despite the electricity being quickly restored after two hours of hurried repair, the outage was still quite an inconvenience for local residents as they were busy going out for morning calisthenics, heading out to tend to the fields and leaving for work. The incident even affected people as they were fixing breakfast. Residents were shocked to learn that a tiny squirrel caused the mishap.

The 50cm-long squirrel climbed up the utility pole at approximately 5:40am, and subsequently made the mistake of touching the high-voltage power cables. Instantaneously receiving an electric shock, the poor guy immediately met his demise and fell to the ground burnt to a crisp. A short circuit occured after the cables caught fire, burning the asphalt road when they fell to the ground. The fire department used dry powder fire extinguishers to put out the fire as soon as they could.

The power outage lasted from around 5:40am until 8am, but was still quite a nuisance even though it was only for a couple of hours. Since most people living in villages go to bed early and rise early, when the outage occured many people were already out of bed fixing their breakfasts, and getting ready to start their day.

Without electricity to power their rice cookers and microwaves, people were kept from making breakfast and getting ready to start their day. Local residents were also forced to manually open their automatic iron doors. Being without air conditioning or fans for so long in the middle of summer caused some people to feel so hot that they were drenched in sweat by the time the outage ended. Local residents eventually called Taiwan Power Company to find out exactly what was happening because they were also afraid the food in the fridge would soon go bad. After learning that a squirrel had caused the entire incident, many were baffled as to how one little squirrel could cause so much damage.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. calisthenics n.

健身操 (jian4 shen1 cao1)

例: I saw dozens of elderly people doing calisthenics at the park early this morning.

(今天早上我看到幾十個老年人在公園裡做健身操。)

2. mishap n.

災禍 (zai1 huo4)

例: The road mishap inconvenienced commuters for several hours.

(路上的災禍造成通勤者數小時不便。)

3. manually adv.

手動的 (shou3 dong4 de5)

例: You can’t just push the button, you have to open it manually.

(你不能只按下按鈕,還得手動打開它。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Taijing Wu)

一隻松鼠上個月清晨五點多,爬到台十三線苗栗縣頭屋鄉路旁的高壓電桿,當場被電死,並造成高壓電線短路起火,導致兩個村約六百戶停電。經過搶修兩個多小時後才恢復供電,造成民眾出門做晨間健身操、農作或上班不便,甚至煮早餐也受影響。住戶得知是隻小松鼠惹了這災禍,都覺得非常驚訝。

這隻身長約五十公分的松鼠,上午五點四十分左右,爬上台十三線的高壓電桿上,誤觸高壓電線,電擊後便燒焦摔落地面死亡,高壓電線也因此短路、起火,掉落地面並導致柏油路面燃燒。消防局用乾粉滅火器趕緊滅火。

停電時間是上午五點四十分到八點左右。鄉下地區居民多是早睡早起,當時正值家庭做早餐、民眾外出晨運、農作或上班時間,停電造成諸多不便。

早餐因為電鍋、微波爐沒電而得暫停。電動鐵捲門也只好手動拉鐵鍊開門。有些住戶因冷氣及電扇停擺,熱到滿身大汗。他們擔心冰箱停電食品變質,紛紛打電話到台電公司詢問。許多民眾聽到是「松鼠肇禍」都納悶地說:「怎麼可能?」

(自由時報記者張勳騰)

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