BISHKEK, December 16 (RIA Novosti) – Residents in much of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek were left to shiver in the cold on Sunday evening as gas supplies to the city dropped to a minimum.
Most privately owned residences in the city and surrounding area lost gas service, their main heating fuel, just as the temperature dropped to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius). Temperatures are expected to continue dropping, to as low as minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 24 degrees Celsius), forecasters said.
Kazakh gas pipeline operator KazTransGaz reduced deliveries to Kyrgyzstan – to 30,000 cubic meters per hour - owing to reduced supplies from Uzbekistan and shortages in southern Kazakhstan. Bishkek’s central heat and electricity plant has now switched to fuel oil, power company KyrgyzGaz said, adding that supplies of the fuel were sufficient to guarantee uninterrupted deliveries of hot water and steam for heating to its customers.
Meanwhile, spiking electricity demand is overloading the grid in Bishkek, causing blackouts in various parts of this city of 800,000 people. As a result, many residents in Bishkek and other cities and towns in northern Kyrgyzstan are struggling through the unusually cold weather without gas or electricity.
Gas deliveries have also been shut off to enterprises throughout the city and surrounding area.
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