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Major Blackouts Hit Balkans Amid First Heatwave of the Year

Sarajevo, June 21, 2024, The Europe Today: The Balkans suffered significant blackouts on Friday as temperatures soared to nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the region’s first heatwave of the year. The extreme heat led to power outages across Albania, Bosnia, and Croatia, with Montenegro experiencing widespread power loss for several hours.

Montenegro’s Energy Minister Sasa Mujovic attributed the blackout to a heavy load on the electrical grid caused by a sudden surge in power consumption due to the high temperatures. “The malfunction occurred as a result of a heavy load on the grid, a sudden increase in power consumption due to high temperature and the high temperatures,” Mujovic explained.

Albanian broadcaster Top Channel TV reported that the regional issue stemmed from an interconnector failure in Montenegro, citing unnamed sources. This failure had a ripple effect, impacting power supplies in neighboring countries.

In Croatia, tourists in the popular city of Dubrovnik found themselves stranded around midday as restaurants, pubs, and supermarkets closed due to the power outage. The blackouts also disrupted traffic lights, causing traffic jams in cities like Split and the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

Croatia’s national electricity company HEP acknowledged the impact of an international disturbance that affected multiple countries. “HEP has put all its production capacities into full operation… to ensure the supply of electricity in Croatia as soon as possible,” the company stated.

The heatwave has put immense pressure on the region’s power infrastructure, highlighting the challenges of maintaining electrical stability amid rising temperatures. Authorities are working to restore power and mitigate further disruptions as the heatwave continues.