A massive power outage affected more than 76 million people in 80 out of 81 Turkish provinces for as long as nine hours on March 31, and its cause is still a matter of debate. crisis in four questions,
At 10:36 a.m., a massive blackout hit Turkey. Out of the 81 Turkish provinces, electricity was not totally cut only in the eastern province of Van, which receives some of its energy from Iran. In total, more than 76 million citizens were affected in one way or another .
Described by the Energy Ministry as the worst national blackout since the 1999 Marmara earthquake, the outage wreaked havoc in daily life throughout the country with mass transit and traffic lights ceasing to work, hospitals sounding the alarm, factories halting production, mobile phone connections suffering from disruptions and people becoming stranded in elevators and traffic jams.The total economic cost of the outage is at least $700 million.Officials started to restore power in much of the country in the afternoon. Energy Minister Taner Yıldız announced that all provinces had finally been provided with electricity by 8 p.m., which means that many Turks endured a blackout for more than nine hours. Considering various official statements that carried limited technical information, daily Hurriyet’s energy correspondent, Merve Erdil, concluded that the most likely explanation lies in a chain of failures: The “domino effect” started when a power plant in the Aegean region suddenly stopped production, which led to a supply cut of more than 2,000 megawatts from 1 a.m. on.The supply decreased even further when the Atlas thermal power plant in the southern province of Hatay stopped working at 10:02 a.m. and the Dicle hydro power plant in the southeast was shut down at 10:44 a.m. Yıldız also admitted that officials were yet to pinpoint the main source of the problem. He cut his official trip to Slovakia short late March 31 to meet his staff to discuss the issue.