WASHINGTON - An unusually severe power outage plunged the US State Department into darkness on Monday, officials said.
The power cut struck at 9:00 am local time (1400 GMT), knocking out lights, computers and phones. Emergency generators restored power to allow "essential operations" to some phones and computers, the official said.
No special security procedures appeared to have been taken in response to the outage at the building, one of the most secure federal installations in the United States.
The United States has the largest diplomatic and consular network in the world, with some 70,000 people working for the State Department.
Several thousand are based at the Washington headquarters based in "Foggy Bottom," the affectionate nickname for the district where the office is located along with other federal buildings.