Saturday, 28 May, 2022
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Central Asia blackout leaves millions without power

Central Asia blackout leaves millions without power
In Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, the outage affected traffic lights and caused this crash

Millions of people were left for hours without electricity on Tuesday when a huge power blackout hit cities in three Central Asian countries.

Areas of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were affected when a shared power line was disconnected.

It caused traffic jams, airport delays and other public transport disruptions across the ex-Soviet nations.

The blackout happened in the late morning, with power restored in most areas by early evening.

The power grids of the three countries are interconnected, and linked to Russia's network via a Soviet-built power line that runs through Kazakhstan. It allows them to draw power from Russia's grid when there are unexpected shortages.

But due to "a significant emergency imbalance" there was a power surge and the connection was cut, grid operator KEGOC said.

Outages were reported in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, and several cities in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. There are also reports that the blackout affected surrounding provinces in all three countries.

Many residents across the region lost access to tap water, heating, petrol pumps and the internet, Reuters news agency reported.

Hospitals had to rely on generators to keep critical equipment running and some underground trains were left stuck in tunnels.