Sunday, August 05, 2007

Officials: Iraq's national power grid on brink of collapse; 4 nationwide blackouts in 2 days; Karbala without power for 3 days; Water supply affected

Above: Sunset over Al Asad

Iraq's power grid is on the brink of collapse because of insurgent sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages and provinces that are unplugging local power stations from the national grid, officials said.

Electricity Ministry spokesman Aziz al-Shimari said Saturday power generation nationally is only meeting half the demand, and there had been four nationwide blackouts over the past two days. The shortages across the country are the worst since the summer of 2003, shortly after the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, he said.

Power supplies in Baghdad have been sporadic all summer and now are down to just a few hours a day, if that. The water supply in the capital has also been severely curtailed by power blackouts and cuts that have affected pumping and filtration stations.

Karbala province south of Baghdad has been without power for three days, causing water mains to go dry in the provincial capital, the Shiite holy city of Karbala.

Read the rest at the Jerusalem Post

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