You know those two-hour blackouts we’ve been getting on the reg these days? We’ve got some bad news, Yangonites. The scheduled blackouts won’t only be continuing until June 20, they’ll be jumping to six hours a day as of — now.
The news came via a statement this week from the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation.
The scheduled blackouts first started near the end of April thanks to a shortage in the electricity supply triggered by record-breaking heat that lowered water levels in dams nationwide. Hydropower makes up to 75% of the nation’s energy output.
The blackouts have been doled out on a rotating basis that cuts power to different neighborhoods two to three times a day.
In a phone call with Coconuts Yangon, a YESC official who spoke on condition of anonymity, today said that water levels in Upper Myanmar hydroelectric plants are still too low to generate power.
“Even with the monsoon, many dams have almost no water to generate electricity,” the official said.
In the past, unscheduled and unannounced power outages were the norm and citizens and businesses learned to live with the unsteady electricity supply with backup generators, battery packs, flashlights and candles. However, since 2011, Yangon’s citizens have come to expect a consistent supply of power. The past few months? Not so much.