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Power Blackouts Caused By Lightning Storm

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Power Blackouts Caused By Lightning Storm

A member of ICE-SAR fastening roof slates in a storm.

Photo: Sigurður Ó. Sigurðsson/ICE-SAR.

Yesterday‘s storm didn‘t go unnoticed by Icelanders, causing minor property damage as well as temporary power blackouts across the capital area, Reykjanes, the Westman Islands and more locations.

According to RÚV, the blackouts were mostly caused by lightning that damaged Landsnet‘s distribution system, leading to power failure for over 40.000 residents. Icelandic weather seldom includes thunder and lightning, due to the cooler climate, making last night's occurrence quite rare.

At least one lightning hit Landsnet’s Suðurnesjalína 1 around 9 PM, causing a total blackout for the entire area, including Keflavík’s international airport. Another lightning hit Rimakotslína 1 right before 11 PM, causing blackouts for various locations in South Iceland, including Vík í Mýrdal as well the nearby Westman Islands. A transformer in Hafnarfjörður also went out, leading to blackouts for both Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær. The reason behind that particular power-outage is unclear.

The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) reported that over 250 volunteers were at work last night to take care of hundreds of different tasks in the capital area, Reykjanes, the South, the West and the Westfjords.

The tasks mostly included attending to roofs, mobile homes, trampolines, signs as well as scaffolding and materials from building sites.

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