Power cuts reported across Israel as grid briefly fails

Emergency crews called out to save people from stuck elevators; technical malfunction and overuse blamed

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of power lines carrying electricity (Nati Shohat/Flash90, File)
Illustrative photo of power lines carrying electricity (Nati Shohat/Flash90, File)

Power cuts were reported Tuesday morning in areas across the country leaving several people trapped in elevators and causing traffic snarls as lights failed at junctions.

The Israel Electric Corporation said the problem was caused by malfunctions at power plants compounded by an overload in demand.

Blackouts were reported in Beersheba, Haifa and its environs, Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, and Bnei Brak.

“Due to load shedding there is a temporary electric cut to some areas,” IEC said, referring to a method in which supply is tamped down in some areas to enable demands to be met in other locations.

Normal supplies were restored within about half an hour.

During the blackout, emergency services were called out to rescue people stuck in stalled elevators in Petah Tikva, the Dan region, and Tiberias.

Failed traffic lights caused traffic jams at some junctions.

The Hebrew-language Walla website reported the power outages were caused by problems at the Rutenberg and Dorad power stations, both in Ashkelon.

According to the IEC website, demand was at 10,600 megawatts at noon. The power company predicted that by peak usage at 4 p.m. it would again be overloaded.

At the beginning of August the IEC reported a record in electric supply usage when demand peaked at 12,420 megawatts, Channel 2 reported.

The previous record was set in January 2015 with a peak of 11,930 megawatts.

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