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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Weekend power outage leaves many Qatar residents sweating

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A power outage in northern Doha and Umm Amad left at least hundreds of residents without air conditioning yesterday, some for the better part of the afternoon.

The outage, which Kahramaa attributed to a system overload caused by “a technical fault,” appears to have affected residents largely in Umm Al Amad and in the Duhail/Gharafa area. On Twitter, some reported power being out as far south as Madinat Khalifa.

Kim Al-Rashid, who lives near CNAQ, tweeted hourly about not having electricity yesterday. Speaking to Doha News, she said that her power went out around 1pm and did not return until after iftar.

I tried calling Kahramaa but the helpline was constantly engaged. I eventually managed to get through to Kahramaa at approximately 4pm after 3 hours without power and was told it was a major problem in the network affecting from Gharafa all the way to Um Al Amad on the North Road. 

Because her home is well-insulated, Al Rashid said it did not heat up quickly without AC. She added that to keep food from spoiling, she and her family minimized opening the refrigerator and freezer doors. But because they did have not electricity to cook iftar, they left home around 6pm. 

My friend told me that the power was reconnected at 6:15pm more than 5 hours after the power outage started.

Early Saturday afternoon, Kahramaa tweeted that electricity had been restored to all affected by 1:37pm – a fact that many on social media disputed. While some homes were indeed back online within an hour or less, other residents reported outages for two to four hours.

Compounding the woes of those affected was the humid weather, which peaked at about 41C (106F) yesterday.

The Peninsula reports:

People were fasting and came out after waiting for a few minutes for electricity supplies to be restored. Later, many of them were seen rushing to their cars to start the engine and switch on the air-conditioner to escape the stifling heat.

The newspaper added that Kahramaa would be recalling technicians on their days off to ensure power failure complaints are dealt with quickly. Electrical outages are more common in the summer, when air conditioning and other appliance usage is at their highest, Kahramaa officials said. 

Looking on the bright side, resident Amina Ali jokingly told Doha News:

Was (a) good chance to let kids feel what fasting was like before we got spoilt with ACs.

 Were you affected yesterday? Thoughts?

Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by Bashar Al-Ba’noon

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