Millions of inhabitants of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan lost electricity on Tuesday for a massive eclipse in Central Asia that meters paralyzed Y airports and left skiers stranded on cable cars. Still the cause of the error was not found which caused the power outage in these three former Soviet republics where this type of phenomenon occurs frequently despite the investments made in the energy network since its independence three decades ago.
Lots of Almaty, the economic capital of Kazakhstanwas without electricity, so was the capitals of Uzbekistan, Tashkent and Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. According to the authorities, the cuts affect wide expansions of the territory of these three countries. The Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy stated in a statement released on Telegram that the power outage was due to a accident in Kazakhstan network.
“Due to a major accident in the energy networks of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there was an eclipse in the cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Taras, (in the region of) Turkestan and adjacent areas,” the statement said. “The Uzbek power grid, which is connected to the Unified Power Grid, was damaged by an accident that caused sudden changes in voltage and frequency on 530 lines from Kazakhstan,” it added.
The interruptions are due to “a accident that affected the local energy network“, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy of Kyrgyzstan, without providing further details. Kegoc, the Kazakh electricity company, reports a “electric charge”, but also did not provide more accuracy about the error. The Central Asian Energy Network it was affected by a major summer drought that reduced hydroelectric generation in Kyrgyzstan, a major regional producer. On the other hand, the boom in cryptocurrency mining in this region, especially in Kazakhstan after the ban on this activity in China, demand increased and caused tension in supply.
According to the Russian press agency Ria, the almaty airport continued to function normally, but the one in Tashkent stopped the take-off of flights due to the eclipse. Other regional airports were also affected. In Bishkek, “the airport is operating but not at full capacity,” its executives said in a statement quoted by local media. According to this information, the airport used a emergency power supply and allowed aircraft to land, but suspended the check-in for some outbound flights.
Still in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the media indicate that the failure interrupted the operation of the pumping stations, which water distribution. And in Tashkent the subway was stopped and the flow of tap water was scarce. In addition, Russian agencies have indicated that in a ski resort near this city some 80 people were blocked in the cable cars and they had to be saved.