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Who Turned The Lights Off?: Egypt Blacks Out

Egypt has witnessed mass power cuts like never before all day today, inducing a state of panic in the capital and other major cities. Though the Ministry of Electricity has attributed the failures to a technical fault, details remain unclear.

Egypt has been sent into meltdown today when the country suffered a massive power cut, causing rush hour misery for millions.

The blackout, which happened in the height of morning rush hour, sent TV, radio and even metro stations all into chaos. Electricity Ministry officials initially stayed silent as citizens panicked and media outlets disappeared.

All three of the capital's metro lines also ground to a halt leaving thousands stranded underground in dire conditions. Rumours circulated that the cut may have been caused by a terror attack, forcing Minister of Electricity Ahmed Shaker to eventually tell ONTV that the mass power outage was in fact caused by a technical fault.

Electricity Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El-Yamani also told AFP that, “power is gradually being restored.” El-Yamani said earlier that the current power cut is a result of maintenance works and efforts to divert power loads to other areas of Cairo.

Power is thought to have returned to much of the city by mid afternoon.

Earlier cuts also affected residents in Alexandria, Fayoum and Aswan, which is still suffering from outages this afternoon.

Cairenes have suffered daily rolling blackouts across the country in recent months. However today's power cut is reportedly the most extensive in recent years, and has affected almost all aspects of daily life on a massive scale.