Millions Without Power After Blackouts Hit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan

A massive power outage was reported on Tuesday across several Eurasia countries that left millions in the dark. 

Reuters reports Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan found themselves without power today. All three ex-Soviet republics have interconnected power grids connected to Russia. 

The source of the disruption could be due to Kazakhstan's North-South power line, which links its two neighbors to power stations in northern Kazakhstan and the Russian power grid. On Tuesday morning, Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) said "emergency imbalances" resulted in disruptions. 

"At 11:59 [05:59 GMT], due to a significant emergency imbalance created by the energy system of Central Asia, there was a power surge for the electricity transit ... As a result, an emergency separation of the transit 'North-East-South of Kazakhstan' occurred with the repayment of a significant part of consumers in the southern zone of Kazakhstan," KEGOC said in a statement.

The loss of power in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, triggered citywide blackouts and brought metro stations to a standstill. 

Cable cars at a ski resort in Uzbekistan were halted, where dozens of skiers were stranded and had to be rescued by local emergency services. 

In the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, power outages brought the city to a standstill. Water supply stopped as pumping stations went offline. Traffic chaos unfolded as red lights stopped working. Many people are complaining about the lack of heat. Luckily, the Manas International Airport in Bishkek switched to an independent power source to avoid some flight disruptions. 

Kyrgyz Energy Minister Doskul Bekmurzaev said, "this is the first time such a failure has occurred in the power system of Central Asia. It is too early to talk about its causes. An interstate commission will be created to provide answers." 

However, a boom in cryptocurrency mining in the region could be behind the power disruption. The growth of mining increased last year as China prohibited energy-intensive mining. Many miners fled across the border to Kazakhstan.

... and some are even speculating a cyberattack. 

Planet Today

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