Turkey's biggest city Istanbul was hit by rolling power cuts for a second day on Friday, caused by what the energy ministry said were faults on transmission lines due to heavy snowfall and a storm in the region.
At one point on Friday, 20 districts on the European side of the city alone were affected by power cuts, including some of the most densely populated areas, according to BEDAS, which distributes electricity to 4.3mn people in Istanbul's European half.
The city of more than 14mn people straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. There were also widespread outages on the Asian side of Istanbul and electricity providers warned of rolling power cuts into Saturday.
AYEDAS, which distributes power to the Asian side of the city, said the ongoing outages were due to problems related to the "national electricity distribution system".
Power demand from households has surged due to cold weather, causing a spike in prices. On average, 29% of Turkey's power generation is from natural gas, but in winter it is still 40 to 50%.
Turkey's daily natural gas consumption has risen to record highs in December, largely due to colder-than-usual weather, higher power consumption and what traders describe as poor supply planning.
State pipeline operator Botas has cut supply to gas-fired power plants across the country by 90% and advised some industrial firms such as in the cement sector to cut back production.
The energy ministry said in a statement that 11 teams were working on resolving faults on power transmission lines supplying Istanbul due to heavy snowfall and a storm in the northern Marmara region where the city is situated.
"The cuts are not affecting the whole of Istanbul, they are continuing partially in certain regions. Electricity supply to the whole of Istanbul will be achieved in a short time," it said, denying reports that low supply had caused the outages.
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