A snake’s death led to power outage for about 10,000 homes in Japan amid a massive heatwave. While power outages due to natural calamities and technical glitches are known of, it’s not every day that an animal’s death becomes the cause of nuisance for people living in thousands of homes.

The incident was reported from Fukushima, a prefecture of Japan located in the Tohoku region of Honshu and occurred earlier on June 29. The outage caused widespread blackouts in Koriyama City, located in northern prefecture of Fukushima.

According to TEPCO (Tohoku Electric Power company), burnt remains of a snake were recovered at one of the substations which are used to supply power to the affected households. The company reported that the outage was caused after a snake wandered inside the substation and unfortunately made contact with a live wire.

Due to the unexpected energy fluctuation, caused from the electricity going through the snake’s body into other live wires, the systems at the affected substations shut down immediately, leading a widespread blackout.

Meanwhile, smoke from the remains of the deceased snake also triggered the fire alarm, causing multiple fire engines to be dispatched at the location. It took an hour for the power to be restored to the affected homes, establishments and businesses.

The Facts of the Matter

Decades ago, many parts of India reported daily power-cuts. As the country developed, so did its electrical infrastructure, and power-cuts are a thing of past, especially for major metros and capitals. However, what if we tell you that in a country as developed as China, power cut affected around 10,000 homes recently, not due to a calamity or glitch – but because of a reptile.

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The When and Where

In Japan’s Fukushima province, a snake’s random death caused a massive power outage, affecting nearly 10,000 homes, establishments and businesses. The incident transpired earlier on June 29 in Koriyama City, located in Fukushima’s northern prefecture.

On June 29, at around 2.10 pm local time, many locals were shocked and surprised to find random, unannounced power cut in their area. The cause of the incident was traced to reptile slithering its way into a Koriyama City substation.

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Charred Remains of Snake Found

According to TEPCO (Tohoku Electric Power Company), during the investigation, charred remains of the snake were found at one of the substations which were involved in supplying power to the affected area.

The snake apparently made direct-contact over a live wire and due to unexpected energy surge that coursed through the snake’s body onto other live wires, the systems at the substation automatically shut down, causing widespread power cut.

Smoke Alarms Triggered, Firefighters Scrambled

Meanwhile, due to the burning of the snake, the smoke alarms were triggered and fire-tenders were soon rushed in to take stock of the matter. Visuals from Japan’s news network showed people scrambling around at the substation.

While it is not reported as to what kind of snake caused the issue, it took officials a better part of an hour to restore the power.

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Locals Joke After Cause of Power Outage Revealed

Meanwhile, locals joked about the incident after the cause was revealed. A Newsweek report quoted a local saying, “It’s surprisingly easy to shut down important infrastructure that’s indispensable to our lives.”. A second person said, “If it was hit by lightning or something I would understand, but a snake? They should be better protected.”

A third person was more sympathetic regarding the ordeal, and said, “Poor snake. I was born in the year of the snake, so this hits hard.”


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