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The Netherlands: Amsterdam area hit by power outage, halting trains, trams and planes

The Amsterdam region suffered a power blackout of more than five hours on Friday that hit a million households, forced flights to divert from Schiphol airport and disrupted national public transport networks.

After more than two hours without power, lights switched back on in the Amsterdam financial district and gradually returned to cities across the province of Noord Holland, home to a sixth of the country's 17 million people.

"The power outage brought trams and metros to a standstill, traffic lights went out and people were trapped in lifts," the city of Amsterdam said in a statement. There were no reports of injuries or security problems.

Power outages on this scale are rare in Europe. In December 2013, storm damage deprived 240,000 homes of electricity in France, mostly in coastal Brittany and Normandy.

The most recent region-wide outage was on November 4, 2006, when 15 million people in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal lost power, according to the International Energy Agency.

The outage, the largest in recent memory, was caused by a technical fault at a substation in the southern Amsterdam suburb of Diemen, where a backup system also failed.

Read more: Amsterdam area hit by power outage, halting trains, trams and planes - World - CBC News

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