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LIVE UPDATES: Power outages hit Taiwan

Six generators at a Taoyuan power plant went down at 4:51 p.m., causing power outages nationwide.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

• The economics minister has resigned over the energy crisis
• Power rationing was in place from 6 p.m. to 9:40 p.m., affecting 6.68 million households
• The six offline generators were to be back online at midnight at the earliest

AS IT HAPPENED

10:25 p.m.: This concludes our live coverage of the energy crisis. It was a dramatic day that started with a minor problem at a Hualien power plant. Before it finished, millions of homes had experienced power outages and the economic affairs minister had stepped down.

And that was only the start; the fallout will be significant both in terms of politics and energy policy. There will no doubt be calls for a rethink or at least a delay on the phase-out of nuclear power, and rumors of a Cabinet reshuffle are inevitable.

But those are matters for tomorrow.

10:20 p.m.: Power rationing was stopped nationwide at 9:40 p.m., according to Taipower, as the restarting of the offline generators continued.

9:46 p.m.: As blackouts continue for some neighborhoods in Taiwan, a reminder: This is the best reason you'll ever have to finish every pint of ice cream in your freezer.

9:04 p.m.: Taipower has said that the gas supply from CPC Corp. has returned to normal, but the time frame for Tatan Power Plant to return to regular operation is still midnight at the earliest.

The exact turn of events that resulted in Tatan's six generators going offline remains uncertain, but CPC is suggesting that human error by a contractor may be to blame for a 2-minute stop in the supply of LNG to the generators.

8:15 p.m.: A few developments:

• Taipower hopes power can be fully restored by midnight tonight
• The Taipei Fire Department received 86 calls about people trapped in elevators
• The Taipei metro was not affected
• The Maokong Gondola was affected by the outage, with 255 people stranded in cable cars, Apple Daily reported. A backup generator was activated and all passengers had been evacuated by 6:40 p.m.

7:45 p.m., KEY UPDATE:

Just minutes after heading up a media conference with power officials, Economic Affairs Minister Lee Chih-kung has resigned, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said at a different presser.

The premier has already accepted Lee's resignation, Hsu said.

7:28 p.m.: How many of these guys will survive?

This is a photo from the just-concluded press event, which is summarized in the updates below. Third from the right is Economic Affairs Minister Lee Chih-kung.

"No one will shy away from their responsibilities," Lee said during the presser. It hints at what is surely to come -- big-name resignations.

Pundits are indeed already calling for the resignation of three such names: Lee and the chiefs of state-run firms CPC Corp. and Taipower.

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