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Kuwait Times, Sun, Jun 23, 2024 | Dhu al-Hijjah 17, 1445

Power woes persist in Kuwait

Kuwait: Malfunctions at the main power transformer in Khaldiya caused power cuts in parts of block 3 in the area Saturday, the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy said.

The ministry added that technicians were working on fixing the problem and restoring power as soon as possible. Several people have reported power cuts that were not announced by the ministry in different parts of the country, namely Hawally, over the weekend. Kuwait Times could not fully verify the reports.

Kuwait has been grappling with electricity shortages since Wednesday. The electricity ministry has resorted to programmed power cuts in precautionary attempts to protect the stability of the power grid. In a statement, the ministry blamed soaring temperatures, which skyrocketed to 52 degrees Celsius, for the power cuts, calling on the public to limit consumption between 11 am and 5 pm in order to ensure uninterrupted supply.

Cuts last Thursday were limited to just five areas, mostly industrial, compared to over 40 residential areas on Wednesday, the ministry said on its X account. The ministry also announced Thursday that malfunctions at the main power transformer in Salwa caused power outages in parts of block 12 of the area. As many as 63 areas could be subjected to the cuts, the ministry said.

Temperatures are expected to remain hot this week, with highs of 50 degrees Celsius, according to Kuwait’s meteorological department. The electrical load index has maintained high levels since the onset of the peak season at the start of June. On Saturday, the index peaked at 16,460 megawatts at 2 pm, according to the ministry’s website.

Call to prayer unaffected

Amid concerns about power cuts, rumors circulated on social media Friday claiming that mosques would only broadcast the call to prayer for the noon and afternoon prayers due to energy conservation measures. In a statement Friday, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs quickly denied these rumors, calling them “false and unfounded”.

The ministry said mosques will remain open for all five prayers every day and that the call to prayer will be broadcast for all prayers as usual. The statement reiterated the ministry’s commitment to both energy efficiency and upholding religious obligations, confirming that mosque doors will remain open to welcome worshippers throughout the day. The ministry urged the public to be wary of false information circulating online and to rely on official sources for news.

The Ministry of Information amplified the calls to take news from official sources Saturday. Assistant undersecretary Lafi Al-Subaiee called on all media to refrain from spreading rumors, warning that legal action could be taken against such offenses. The offenders will be submitted, without warning, to the information offenses committee to take legal action.

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