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Power restored after massive outage in New York City

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More than 70,000 people were affected by a massive power outage in parts of New York City on Saturday evening which saw the screens at Times Square go black and left cinema-goers sitting in pitch-black movie theatres, according to U.S. media reports.

Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side were affected.

“We are responding to extensive outages on the Westside of Manhattan,” a spokesman for energy supplier Con Edison tweeted.

Shortly before midnight, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said power had been restored.

“Power was restored to remaining customers,” the mayor tweeted around midnight. “I want to thank all of our first responders, the men and women of the NYPD, FDNY and @NYCEmergencyMgt for their hard work tonight — and every New Yorker for responding to the black out with that trademark NYC grit and toughness.

During the Saturday evening blackout, elevators were stuck and traffic lights were out while some subway stations were closed, local media reported.

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Several Broadway shows were cancelled at short notice.

Some artists gave impromptu performances on the pavement outside theatres.

A concert at Carnegie Hall resumed in front of the building once the audience had reassembled outside.

While many stores closed early, lots of bars and restaurants stayed open. Some of the electronic billboards on Times Square went dark.

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There were no reports of people injured and no reported arrests.

De Blasio earlier said the power outage appeared to be the result of a mechanical problem in the electrical grid.

“This appears to be something that just went wrong in the way that they transmit power from one part of the city to another,” the mayor told CNN. “It sounds like it is addressable in a reasonable amount of time.”

The mayor was campaigning in Iowa and was due to return to New York late Saturday, his campaign press secretary told the U.S. broadcaster.

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Firefighters were responding to numerous transformer fires as well as people trapped in elevators and subway cars, a Fire Department spokesman told CNN.

The power failure occurred 42 years to the day of an extensive blackout that affected much of New York City in July 1977, sparking arson attacks and looting.

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Kwara commends BUA Group for donating three ambulances

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has commended the BUA Group for donating three ambulance buses to the Kwara State Government

A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Friday in Ilorin said the donation came two months after the conglomerate donated N100 million to the state’s COVID-19 campaign.

“I am so glad that BUA has lived up to the expectation again. It is not just the buses.

“BUA recently gave us N100 million which we are very grateful for,” Ajakaye quoted the governor as saying shortly after the ambulances were handed over to him in Ilorin.

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The governor said that the gradual reopening of the economy did not mean that the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic was over.

AbdulRazaq, therefore, urged the people of Kwara to adhere to all safety protocols, adding that the world now appeared to be in the middle of the health crisis.

“I want to specifically thank the Chairman of BUA, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, for N100 million, these ambulance buses, the hundreds of people being employed in Kwara State, and for the internally generated revenue they contribute to the state and for future prospects and investments,” he said. 

The Senior General Manager of the Lafiagi Sugar Company (BUA Group), AbdulRasheed Olayiwola, while presenting the ambulances said they were meant to further campaign against the pandemic which had affected everyone.

“We are stakeholders in Kwara State and our Chairman is very particular about development.

“As a responsible corporate organization, we’re not only interested in our investment here, we are also interested in the wellbeing of Kwara people.

“We deem it fit, therefore,  to support this government in its drive to fight the scourge of COVID-19,” he said. 

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Kaduna completes the first phase of an ultra-modern market

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Kaduna State Government has completed the first phase of the ultra-modern market being constructed at Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Council in Kaduna State.

Facilities in the market which include police posts, clinics, banks, fire service stations, warehouses, and administration blocks have been completed.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Musa, who led newsmen on a tour of the market, said that the construction work in the market had reached advance stage.

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The project, with a cost of over N2 billion, has 224,000  shops.

A representative of the construction company, Hamza Bello, said over 400 shops had so far been completed in the first phase of the project.

He said that about 80 percent of the work had been completed and assured that the remaining work would soon be completed.

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Some laborers at the project site expressed their commitment to meet the completion target given to them.

Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai launched the reconstruction of the burnt market as part of his administration’s readiness to promote equality in opportunity and economic development in the communities.

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COVID-19: Edo discharges 80 more patients

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Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has disclosed that 80 more coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have recovered and have been cleared to reunite with their families and the society after testing negative to the virus.

In a statement, the Governor said the death toll in the state has risen to 43 with the elderly accounting for a large number of the fatalities, urging residents to observe precautionary measures to stay safe, healthy as well as protect the aged.

Obaseki noted:

“We have discharged 80 more COVID-19 patients from our isolation centres. The number of discharges now stands at 498. We lost one more person to the virus, bringing the number of fatalities to 43. Stay safe and protect our aged parents, who are most endangered”

Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia, said the state has recorded a total of 1,203 confirmed cases, 6,046 suspected cases and exited 2,532 others, including 2,185 line-listed contacts and 347 persons-of-interest (POI), who have completed the compulsory 14-day follow-up and tested negative.

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Okundia said the 1,203 confirmed cases were recorded in Oredo (391), Esan West (117), Egor (223), OviaNorth East (86), Ikpoba-Okha (160), Uhunmwode (14), Etsako Central (2), Esan South East (7), Akoko-Edo (1), Esan Central (107), Ovia South West (19), Owan East (1), Esan North East (43), Etsako West (20), Etsako East (9), Orhionmwon (2), Owan West (1) Local Government Areas (LGAs).

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The commissioner, who reassured residents that the state government would continue to intensify efforts to contain the pandemic and protect the Edo people, said the state has tested over 6,371 residents and is contact-tracing 2,794 others as well as visited over 1,035 rural and urban communities for Active Case Search (ACS) activities.

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He added:

“While the state government intensifies efforts to protect the Edo people from this deadly disease, we urge all citizens to stay at home and observe all precautionary measures against the spread of the infectious disease, including regular handwashing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing.”

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