A major technical malfunction caused massive blackouts in the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.
Authorities and residents said that major cities were affected from blackouts after a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected.
The grids of the three post-Soviet republics are interconnected, and via Kazakhstan are linked to the Russian power grid which they can use to cover unexpected shortages.
But Kazakhstan’s North-South power line, which links densely populated southern Kazakhstan and its two neighbors to major power stations in northern Kazakhstan and the Russian network, was disconnected on Tuesday morning due to “emergency imbalances” in the Central Asian part of the grid, grid operator KEGOC said.
Outages were reported in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty and several major southern cities close to the Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders.
Authorities in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan said they were restarting power plants after emergency shutdowns and will initially remain disconnected from the Central Asian grid.
Uzbekistan’s energy ministry said in a statement on its official Telegram channel that the power outage had been triggered by an accident in Kazakhstsan’s power grid.
“As a result of a major accident in the power grids of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there was a power outage in the cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Taras, Turkestan (regions) and adjacent areas,” the statement said.
“The Uzbek power grid, which is connected to the Unified Power Grid, was damaged as a result of an accident that led to sudden changes in voltage and frequency on 530 lines from Kazakhstan,” it added.
A spokesperson for Kyrgyzstan’s energy ministry told Agence France-Presse (AFP) by telephone that power had failed “due to an accident in the regional energy grid.”