Archive for Friday, January 27, 2006

Nation suffers worst energy crisis in years

January 27, 2006


Snow and freezing temperatures Thursday deepened the misery in Georgia, where millions were without power and a natural gas shortage forced people to chop wood for heat.

President Mikhail Saakashvili said Iran had agreed to supply Georgia with gas via Azerbaijan.

The 1991 Soviet collapse and several years of civil war in the early 1990s left much of Georgia's energy infrastructure decrepit, forcing many to rely on generators and wood- and gas-fired heaters and stoves. The situation had stabilized, with fewer outages in recent years.

Over the weekend, however, an explosion on a major gas pipeline that runs through the Russian border region of North Ossetia cut supplies to many Georgian regions.

The misery worsened early Thursday when fierce weather in western Georgia ruptured power lines leading from the Inguri hydroelectric station to eastern regions, leaving about 3 million people in the dark.


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