Millions of people in the central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have been left without electricity after a major technical outage.
The Kazakh Energy Ministry said an important cable was broken, which has led to outages in the economic hub of Almaty as well as across Kyrgyzstan and several regions of neighbouring Uzbekistan.
The exact cause of problem is being investigated, with work underway to restore the power supply.
Airports in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan had to temporarily suspend operations.
Media reports said underground railways were at a standstill in many places, traffic lights were down and tourists were stuck in ski lifts.
The power grids of the three ex-Soviet republics are connected to each other and - via Kazakhstan - also to Russia, from where electricity can be supplied in the event of bottlenecks.
People, especially in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, repeatedly complain about power outages and an unstable supply.
This large-scale outage is the most serious in recent years.
Australian Associated Press
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