Myanmar's biggest cities hit by brief power outages

Power outages are common in Myanmar thanks to a creaky and outdated electricity grid. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

YANGON (AFP) - A power blackout briefly hit Myanmar's main urban centres and far-flung towns on Friday (Sept 24), including commercial hub Yangon and parts of the capital Naypyitaw, authorities and AFP correspondents said.

Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation reported a "temporary power outage in Yangon region today at 13.35" local time, adding that it was working to restore power.

Myanmar's second-biggest city of Mandalay, the eastern town of Hpa-an, southern Mon state and parts of Rakhine state in the west had also lost power, residents told AFP.

Parts of the military-built capital of Naypyitaw were also experiencing outages.

By 2.10pm (3.40pm Singapore time) power had been restored, Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation said in a statement.

Local media reported an official from Naypyitaw's Electricity Department as saying the national grid had suffered a "system breakdown", without elaborating.

Power outages are common in Myanmar thanks to a creaky and outdated electricity grid, with demand regularly outstripping supply during the country's sweltering summer months.

The country has been in turmoil since a Feb 1 military coup that ousted the government of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Yangon's state-backed electricity provider warned residents in July that electricity supply could be disrupted if they continued refusing to pay their power bills - part of an ongoing boycott of junta services.

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