News24

Cyprus blacked out as power plant fails

2012-04-04 11:02

Nicosia - Most of Cyprus was blacked out early on Wednesday due to the failure of one of the Mediterranean island's main power plants, local media said.

The outage caused massive traffic jams during the peak morning rush hour, with police scrambling to control intersections where lack of traffic lights confused and angered motorists.

Public radio attributed the outage to technical problems with a major power plant and added that officials were unable to say when electricity supplies would be resumed.

The Cyprus Weekly newspaper quoted Electricity Authority spokesperson Costas Gavrielldies as saying a problem at the Dhekelia power plant triggered the failure of other units across the resort island.

Gavrielldies said it was not yet clear what had caused the technical problem.

In July 2011, a huge explosion in a seized Iranian munitions cache stored at a Greek Cypriot naval base killed 13 people and caused massive damage to the adjacent Vassiliko power station which had accounted for more than half of the island's power generation.

The loss of the power plant led to rolling daily power cuts and economic disruption that has hit growth targets for the next two years.