Mon | Mar 4, 2024

Sri Lanka experiences nationwide power outage after a main transmission line fails

Published:Saturday | December 9, 2023 | 6:50 PM
Vehicles move on a road past buildings partially lit during a countrywide power outage in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, December 9, 2023. The outage is reportedly due to a system failure. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka experienced an islandwide power outage for several hours Saturday after a system failure with one of the main transmission lines, the country's power and energy ministry said.

The power outage began Saturday evening and continued for several hours.

“Step-by-step restorations are underway and it may take few hours to completely restore the power supply,” said the ministry in a statement.

Sri Lanka largely depends on hydropower for power generation, while coal and oil are used to cover the balance. During the dry season, the country is compelled to use more thermal power for generation of electricity.

Sri Lanka experienced several hours of daily power cuts last year for several months due to plunging water levels powering hydroelectric dams.

The power crisis worsened as Sri Lanka faced difficulty in importing sufficient stocks of oil and coal after the country's foreign reserves were depleted during an unprecedented economic crisis.

Sri Lanka plunged into am economic crisis in 2022, creating severe shortages and drawing strident protests that led to the ouster of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

It declared bankruptcy in April 2022 with more than $83 billion in debt — more than half of it to foreign creditors.

Under new President Ranil Wickremesinghe, a continuous power supply has been restored.

But there has been growing public dissatisfaction with the government's efforts to increase revenue by raising electricity rates and imposing heavy new income taxes on professionals and businesses.

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