The whole of Cyprus woke up without electricity Wednesday after a problem at one of its power plants resulted in the entire grid shutting down, according to local media reports.
A malfunction at the Mediterranean nation's main Dhekelia power station in the early hours of the morning, triggering breakdowns throughout the system, was blamed for the black-out, according to the English language Cyprus Mail newspaper.
The outage caused massive traffic jams during the morning rush hour, with police scrambling to control intersections where lack of traffic lights confused and angered motorists, Agence France Press reported.
Cyprus's electricity resources are already stretched after its main power generating facility at Vassilikos was almost destroyed in an accidental explosion in 2011 that left 12 people dead. The Famagusta Gazette said last year's explosion occurred in containers, full of munitions, that Cyprus had confiscated from a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria.
London’s Daily Telegraph said Wednesday’s outage forced authorities to put ageing stations back online and to get supplies from the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state which lies north of a ceasefire line splitting the war-divided island.
Cyprus has a population of about 800,000.
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