in Sharjah

SHARJAH — Sweating and fuming after being stuck in elevators and sleeping in cars and on pavements, residents in Sharjah braved blackouts for a second day on Wednesday.

By Afkar Abdullah And?ahmed Al Majaida

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Published: Fri 28 May 2010, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:47 PM

The disruptions affected businesses, schools and homes in industrial areas 1, 3, 6, 10, 13 and 17. Residential areas like Rolla, Al Qassimia, Al Majaz, Al Khan, Al Taawun and Al Nahda also experienced outages for several hours at stretch.

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) authorities, meanwhile, worked overtime to restore normal power supply to the affected areas.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, a senior SEWA official said demand for electricity had increased with the onset of summer. He said most of the blame had to be shouldered by industrial units. This had put a strain on power plants, which had caused a ‘‘major breakdown in the main distribution and generation plants as well as transformers,’’ he said.

“The power outage issue has been caused due to heavy consumption during summer by industrial areas mostly,’’ he added.

The official, who did not wish to be named, clarified that there was enough power to meet the emirate’s needs, but residents must be more responsible.

‘‘We have enough power. Consumers have to rationalise power to reduce the heavy load on power production and distribution plants.”

An engineer at the control section of SEWA said, ‘‘We understand the suffering of people, especially families in residential areas, and are making efforts to ease the situation. The disconnection will be at different times, with only two hours for residential areas.’’

However, those with children and elderly parents at home had a harrowing time.

“I am staying with my family, including a two-month-old. We really had a tough time yesterday. We would appreciate (if) the concerned department takes necessary precautions to avoid such a situation in the near future, considering the weather,” Rasheed, who stays near National Paints area, said.

The helplessness of those living in high-rises was evident in Al Nahda and Al Taawun areas where some of the residential towers have more than 40 floors.

A Dubai resident said her friend’s family was stuck on their 45th floor flat in Al Taawun area for hours. “They just remained there till the power came back. Who can climb all those floors up and down?” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

However, residents in some towers said they had some respite as building managements switched on generators.

Many people got stuck in elevators, while other waited downstairs in the affected buildings.

Abdelrahman Al Jallad, a resident of Al Khan area, said electricity went off for three hours in his area on Tuesday. “It was first around 12noon and at night around 11.30pm. We had to sleep without AC and we weren’t able to use the elevators. My family and I couldn’t sleep properly.

“Today also, it was cut around 12 noon. I couldn’t take it and I had to leave the house as it was very hot,” Jallad added.

Valasala Kumari, who lives in Rolla, said outages lasted for more than two hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It went off at 3pm and returned around 5.30pm. This morning, we had no power between 8am and 10.15am,” the housewife said.

Ameenah El Barrani, a Canadian living in Al Maliha, said, “It went off yesterday in the afternoon, and around 11pm at night. I had to leave the house and go to my parent’s house to sleep with the air conditioner on.’’

Sreenivasa Rao, who lives in Al Nahda area, said the blackout from 8.30am delayed his work day. ‘‘I woke up and found it difficult to shower, get dressed and go to work,” said Rao, who works in Dubai.

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