A major power outage hits Balkan region as countries swelter in an early summer heat wave (2024)

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — A major hourslong power outage hit much of the Balkans on Friday as the southern European region sweltered in an early heat wave that sent temperatures soaring to more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Montenegrin authorities said that an outage that lasted for several hours in the country’s power distribution system left almost the entire nation without electricity, while similar problems were reported in the coastal part of Croatia, and in Bosnia and Albania.

Nada Pavicevic, a spokeswoman for Montenegro’s state power distribution company, described the outage as a “disturbance of regional proportion,” and said authorities were still working to determine what happened.

The exact cause of the outage was not immediately clear as the regional power grid has been overloaded for days because of overconsumption and the use of air-conditioning in high temperatures.

Bosnia’s state power company said the outage there was caused by problems in a regional distribution line, while Albania’s state power company said the “extreme heat” caused the problem.

Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Albania share the Adriatic Sea coastline and the power grids in the region remain interconnected, decades after the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

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“The whole electric grid system of continental Europe is connected together, and that sometimes has its benefits but also has its flaws,” said Danko Blazevic, the head of Croatia’s electric grid networks.

“The advantage is that you can import and export and sell power, but then the flaw is that when there is a failure, its basically passed from one system to another,” he added.

In the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, the outage also caused traffic jams, with trams stopping and traffic lights not operating. Similar gridlock was reported in the Croatian port city of Split.

In Croatia’s resort of Dubrovnik, thousands of tourists were left stranded in the midafternoon, with restaurants, pubs, supermarkets, ice cream parlors and others shutting their doors during the outage. Soccer fans milled around some of the pubs with darkened television screens, unable to watch the games played at the European Championship soccer tournament in Germany.

The collapse, which started just after noon on Friday, came as authorities throughout the region warned citizens to be cautious, drink water and avoid sunshine because of extremely high temperatures.

“Don’t stay in the sun between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” warned Serbia’s Public Health Institute in its instructions to citizens. “If you must go out, please take a bottle of water along.”

Meteorologists say the heat in the region this week came from Africa, carrying sand particles that created a cloud-like layer, dimming the skyline.

The sweltering heat was the worst in big cities, where concrete sizzled even in the evening, and where nights offered no real respite as temperatures remained above 20 C (68 F).

While hot summers are normal in the Balkans, temperatures typically do not reach such heights in mid-June, prompting weather alerts and warnings.

Earlier this week, authorities in North Macedonia imposed emergency measures through Sunday, after which the heat is expected to relent. On Friday, authorities in Romania imposed weight limits for vehicles traveling on national roads in some counties to prevent degradation to road surfaces.

Belgrade resident Milos Jeftovic said he is following the instructions and taking every opportunity to stay near the Serbian capital’s two rivers, the Danube and the Sava. Authorities, he said, should have reduced working hours and parked water tankers in the city streets.

“Personally, I don’t have a problem ... but this is not OK, temperatures are above acceptable (levels),” Jeftovic said.

Weather warnings were also issued in neighboring Croatia, a tourism hot spot, where the heat wave is set to peak on Friday before an expected change of weather over the weekend that could trigger storms.

Montenegrin state television RTCG said that though the residents in the country’s capital of Podgorica are used to very high temperatures, some complained the heat started too early in the year. One man told the broadcaster: “I really don’t know what we are going to do.”

Experts say that extreme weather conditions are also triggered by climate change.

A major power outage hits Balkan region as countries swelter in an early summer heat wave (2024)


What do you mean by Balkan region? ›

The Balkan region comprises modern day countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The inhabitants of Balkan were known as Slavs. The Balkan issue is considered to one of the major reasons for the First World War.

What is the unification of the Balkans? ›

The concept of a Balkan federation emerged in the late 19th century among left-wing political forces in the region. The central aim was to establish a new political unity: a common federal republic unifying the Balkan Peninsula on the basis of internationalism, socialism, social solidarity, and economic equality.

How many Balkan countries are there? ›

There is no universal agreement on what constitutes the Balkans. However, the following are usually included: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

What area was known as the Balkans class 10th? ›

The Balkans was a region of geographical and ethnic variation comprising modern-day Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro whose inhabitants were broadly known as the Slavs.

What happened in the Balkan region? ›

Results of the Balkan Wars

As a result of the Balkan Wars, Greece gained southern Macedonia as well as the island of Crete. Serbia gained the Kosovo region and extended into northern and central Macedonia. Albania was made an independent state under a German prince.

What is Balkan also known as? ›

The term Balkan Peninsula was a synonym for Rumelia in the 19th century, the parts of Europe that were provinces of the Ottoman Empire at the time. It had a geopolitical rather than a geographical definition, which was further promoted during the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the early 20th century.

Why was Balkans important? ›

For millennia the Balkans have been a contact zone between the Mediterranean, Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and the Near East. Here historians can find in retrospect arguably any social phenomenon that ever existed in Europe over the last 2000 years.

Why were the Balkans so unstable? ›

A variety of historical, political, and cultural factors contribute to this chronic instability. But deep-seated nationalistic antagonisms and economic and political weaknesses have been most responsible for keeping the Balkan pot boiling.

Why were Balkan nations in trouble? ›

Answer: A large part of the Balkans was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The spread of the idea of romantic nationalism in the Balkans together with disintegration of the Ottoman Empire made this region very explosive.

What religion is Balkan? ›

The most common religions in the Balkans are Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christianity and Sunni Islam. Many different specific kinds of each faith are practiced, with each of the Eastern Orthodox countries having its own national church with its own patriarch.

What nationality is Balkan? ›

A list of Balkan peoples today would include Greeks, Albanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Montenegrins, and Bosnian Muslims. Other smaller groups of people are also found in the Balkans such as the Vlachs and the Roma (Gypsies), neither of whom have a national state anywhere.

Is Russia Balkan or Slavic? ›

Present-day Slavs are classified into three groups: the West Slavs (chiefly Czechs, Kashubians, Poles, Slovaks, Silesians and Sorbs); the East Slavs (chiefly Belarusians, Russians, Rusyns, and Ukrainians); the South Slavs (chiefly Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Gorani, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, and Slovenes).

What is the old name for the Balkan states? ›

Well, the Ancient name of the Balkan region-(that is to say, dating back 1500 plus years ago), was called, "Illyria".

Why are the Balkans so divided? ›

The distinct identity and fragmentation of the Balkans owes much to its common and often turbulent history regarding centuries of Ottoman conquest and to its very mountainous geography.

Is Hungary Slavic or Balkan? ›

Hungarians have one unique difference from other European states. They consider themselves neither Slavic or Germanic like many nations in Europe.

What ethnicity is Balkan? ›

A list of Balkan peoples today would include Greeks, Albanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Montenegrins, and Bosnian Muslims. Other smaller groups of people are also found in the Balkans such as the Vlachs and the Roma (Gypsies), neither of whom have a national state anywhere.

What religion are the Balkans? ›

The Serbs are Eastern-Orthodox Christians, the Croats are Roman Catholics, and the Bosnian Muslims are South Slavs Islamicized through the Ottoman Turkish conquest. These differences have been reinforced by nationalist movement's uses of religion and by religious leaders' services to nationalist movements.

Is Poland a Balkan country? ›

We will employ the operational definition of Central Europe as elaborated in the introductory chapter, which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In our definition of the Balkans we include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, and Romania.


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