Sharjah power crisis

90% of Sharjah in darkness as latest blackouts rock the Emirate

Up to 90 percent of Sharjah was without power for hours on Monday evening as businesses and residents suffered one of the worst blackouts yet.

From 3-7.30pm, huge parts of the emirate were without electricity with the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority blaming the disruptions on cable maintenance work and warning that power may not be fully restored until Eid, Khaleej Times reported on Tuesday.

Power was later returned to about 80 percent of Sharjah with most industrial zones back in operation by 9pm, the paper reported.

Industrial areas 1, 3, 11, 13, 17 and Muwaileh have been experiencing power outages for the last 28 days with economists estimating Sharjah is losing between Dhs5-7 million a day with up to 35 percent of workshops and small businesses affected.

Many residents had spent the afternoon and evening outside their homes where air conditioners and coolers had cut out.

Others took to their cars to keep cool but were stuck in long queues as cars backed up at intersections where traffic lights had been knocked out.

Police officers directed traffic and helped volunteers distribute dates and juice to motorists for Iftar.

A Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority official, who asked not to be named, told the paper that engineers were replacing cables to improve the network's capacity to deliver a high load of power required in the summer months.

"We can't say right now when exactly the problem will be solved completely in industrial areas, but we hope it would end before Eid days," he added.

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