Myanmar’s biggest cities hit by power outages

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

Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation reported a “temporary power outage in Yangon region today at 13:35” local time (0705 GMT), 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 Naypyidaw were also experiencing outages.

Local media reported an official from Naypyidaw’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Power outages are common in Myanmar thanks to a creaky and outdated electricity grid, with demand regularly outstripping supply during the country’s sweltering summer months.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 February 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.