A massive power outage in Lofoten and Vesterålen that left around 50,000 residents of northern Norway without electricity Tuesday night finally ended Wednesday morning. The problem was traced to an explosion and fire at a transformer station at Kilbotn outside Harstad.
Statnett, in charge of the region’s electricity network, confirmed Wednesday that power had returned to all its subscribers in Lofoten, Vesterålen, Ofoten and Sør-Troms.
A Statnett spokesman apologized for the power cut that left homes and businesses in the dark for hours on end. Several businesses were forced to close, while others had to resort to alternative methods of heating on a cold winter night.
“We work every day to make sure that folks have power all over Norway,” Hagerup Nilson of Statnett told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “When something like this happens, our entire apparatus swings into gear.”
Some portions of Lofoten, a popular tourist area currently in the midst of the annual cod fishing season, got power back later on Tuesday evening but it didn’t last long because of errors in the electricity network. Local bakeries could fire up ovens Wednesday morning, however. Residents were still being cautioned to reduce their electricity consumption as power returned, to prevent a new collapse.