Backups ready to prevent power outages on Olympics opening

Society Materials 4 August 2008 10:43 (UTC +04:00)

Backup systems and a team of 6,000 people will ensure that power outages from possible thunderstorms will not disrupt the much-anticipated opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on Friday.

More than 10,000 kilowatts will be used for the ceremony scheduled for Friday evening, Gan Yinhui, the deputy commander of the Olympic command center, was quoted as saying in state-run media Monday.

The vast amount of power - equivalent to the electricity consumed by several thousand or up to 10,000 households at the same time - will light up the National Stadium for the ceremony, including operating the sound system, the stage for performances, the torch lighting and the fireworks show, reported dpa.

To ensure outages do not cause blackouts, numerous backup systems have been installed in the stadium as well as several other Olympic venues, Gan said.

Six thousand people have also been specifically assigned to check that all electrical equipment, including power cables, transformers and lights, are functioning properly, according to the Beijing News Monday.

The 6,000 workers will carry out around-the-clock patrols and inspections, the report said.

Beijing's electricity supply will be further tested by the city's plans to keep its main streets, which are decked with lanterns or colorful lights, lit up at night later than usual to celebrate the Olympics.

Beijing's Meteorological Bureau on Sunday forecasted cloudy skies for Friday, with possible scattered showers or thunderstorms.

A thunderstorm and not adequate backup led to a television blackout of 18 minutes during the Euro 2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey in June.