Coup-hit Myanmar sees temporary nationwide electricity outage

People started posting on Twitter and Facebook about the widespread blackouts across commercial hub Yangon at around 1:30 pm local time (0600 GMT).

Protesters take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Mandalay on 22 February 2021. Picture: AFP

YANGON - Electricity supply was briefly cut across many areas of Myanmar on Friday because of a "system breakdown", according to multiple government agencies.

People started posting on Twitter and Facebook about the widespread blackouts across commercial hub Yangon at around 1:30 pm local time (0600 GMT).

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

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

Users of Facebook - an extremely popular platform in Myanmar - also reported electricity blackouts in other parts of the country.

By 4 pm (0900 GMT), Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation announced that they had restored the power, which would take time to transmit across Myanmar's largest city.

"We are letting the people from all townships know that we are trying to transmit power across Yangon at this time," they posted on their official Facebook page.

People across the country began reporting on Facebook that their electricity had returned.

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.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the February 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.

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