Widespread electricity cuts in Myanmar after system failure

Widespread electricity cuts in Myanmar after system failure

Anti-coup protesters flash a three-fingered sign of resistance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, Mar 4, 2021. (Photo: AP)

YANGON: Electricity supply was cut across many areas of Myanmar on Friday (Mar 5) because of a "system breakdown", according to multiple government agencies. 

Residents started posting on Twitter and Facebook about the widespread blackouts across commercial hub Yangon at around 1.30pm local time (3pm Singapore time). 

Similar reports on electricity blackouts in other parts of the country were posted online.

"A system breakdown is causing power outages across the country," reported Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation in central Yangon's Yankin township.

"We didn't cut the power. It'll be back in the evening," said a utility official in Yangon.

Further north in the city of Magway, along the Irrawaddy River, the region's Electricity Supply enterprise reported the same.

The supply cut comes as the junta has tightened its chokehold on communications, blocking social media platforms - which people have skirted by downloading VPNs - and imposing a nightly Internet shutdown.

READ: Commentary: Myanmar protesters play cat and mouse as military shuts down online platforms

READ: Digital warfare: Myanmar's cyber crackdown explained

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the Feb 1 coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power, with soldiers and police escalating the use of force on the streets to quell nationwide protests.

Source: Agencies/vc