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Kenya hit by nationwide power outage

world Updated: May 26, 2008 02:55 IST

A nationwide power outage his Kenya on Sunday as a result of a transmission fault from its hydro-electric plants, officials said, sparking panic in the east African nation.

The black-out started at 5:45 pm (1445 GMT) and affected operations in major hospitals, including the main Nairobi-based Kenyatta National Hospital and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Power began to be restored in phases after three hours, AFP correspondents and local media reported.

Locals expressed panic and urged the government to explain the failure.

The hydro-electric plants' owners, official power generator KenGen, produces about 80 percent of electricity consumed in the country, utilising hydro, geothermal, thermal and wind resources.

Millions of Kenyans suffered power-rationing blackouts in 2000 and 2001 because water levels behind hydro-electric dams reached critically low levels.