Sri Lankans cook with kerosene lamps amid power outages across the country on August 17, 2020. Photo by Chanuka Liyanage
Sri Lanka’s island-wide power outage has drawn international attention, with the British Foreign Office issuing a warning to Britons not to visit Sri Lanka. At present there are 8000 British nationals and 10,000 residents in Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of Power and Energy announced that the supply of electricity to the whole of Sri Lanka has been disrupted due to a technical problem in the transmission system. The problem occurred at the Kerawalapitiya Grid Sub Station and caused a power outage throughout the island. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has waged a serious struggle to restore power to the country. Heavy traffic congestion has been reported in the capital Colombo due to power outages.
The power outage has also affected water supply to several areas.
Power and Energy Ministry spokeswoman Sulakshana Jayawardena said that steps will be taken to restore power as soon as possible. Power was restored to some parts of the Southern Province and Kotmale around 4.50 pm local time. Steps are being taken to ensure the restoration of electricity to the entire country. People took to Twitter to write about how the power outage affected them, with some saying they could no longer work from home, while others said it interrupted their cooking.
Many people are angry and their electricity has not been turned on yet. One person said: “Are we living in the Stone Age? I am surprised that the power outages have not yet been repaired. The Ministry of Energy has warned that it will take a few more hours for power to be restored to all parts of Sri Lanka, even though power has been restored in some areas. Construction of the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant commenced in November 2007 and proceeded in two phases. The first phase was completed in 10 months and the second phase was completed in February 2010.
It is now noon in the island as Sri Lanka is four hours and 30 minutes ahead of UK time. It is located in South Asia and covers an area of 65,610 km2. Sri Lanka has a population of approximately 21.6 million, 3.7 times smaller than the United Kingdom.