(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Several neighbourhoods in Amman and other parts of the country were left without electricity on Wednesday, when temperatures soared above 40C and are expected to rise further on Thursday.
From Dahiyat Al Yasmin in southwest Amman to Marj Al Hamam in the west, households suffered power outages, while businesses in other governorates reported losses and delays.
"There has been no electricity in my neighbourhood since the early morning" I'm worried about the food and meat stored in the fridge and being unable to cool down the house in this hot weather," Um Rami Al Hassan, a Marj Al Hamam resident, said on Wednesday afternoon.
Power cuts were also reported in the capital's Tlaa Al Ali neighbourhood. Linda Kallash, president of Tamkeen Centre which is located in Wasfi Al Tal (Gardens) Street, said the electricity had been out since noon.
"The operator is unable to transfer phone calls because there is no electricity and work is delayed because all computers are shut down" Above all this, our offices are on the fifth floor," Kallash added.
In Irbid, 80km north of Amman, households and businesses were also affected by electricity outages.
"Power cuts today [Wednesday] and yesterday affected my business a lot, because I own a dairy product shop. The yoghurt went bad today and my source of income has been stopped," Abu Gasem, a resident of the town of Hebrath in Irbid Governorate, told The Jordan Times.
Abu Gasem's neighbour, Majdi Shukri, also reported losses due to the recurring power cuts.
"The dough prepared for today and yesterday was spoiled and I had to throw it in the trash. I lost JD220 because my machines are down," noted Shaker, who owns a bakery.
Officials at the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) were unavailable for comment on Wednesday despite several attempts by The Jordan Times to contact them.
However, NEPCO Director General Ghaleb Maabreh told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that scheduled power cuts were implemented on Wednesday to cope with the unprecedented load on the power grid.
"The electricity load today reached 2,770 megawatts," Maabreh said, adding that the total generating capacity is around 3,000 megawatts.
He noted that scheduled power cuts were ordered in 15 neighbourhoods in the capital: Sweileh, Tabarbour, Hai Nazzal, Wihdat, Baqaa, Wadi Saqra, Abu Nuseir, Tlaa Al Ali, Jandaweel, Ring Road, Dahiyat Al Yasmin, Dahiyat Abu Qura, Abu Alanda, Jawa and Marj Al Hamam.
"The situation will be back to normal by 5:00pm Wednesday and all power cuts will end when the holy month of Ramadan begins, during which electricity loads drop by 150 megawatts," Petra quoted Maabreh as saying.
Power cuts occur during heatwaves when the load on the power grid increases, especially since more people are relying on fans and air conditioners.
Meanwhile, the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD) said on Wednesday that the heatwave will peak on Thursday, when maximum temperatures are expected to exceed 40C.
"Mercury levels will reach 42C in Amman and above 45C in the east, south and Ghor areas," meteorologist, Raed Rafed, told The Jordan Times.
The heatwave, which started affecting the country on Tuesday, is caused by a seasonal hot air mass affecting the Arabian Peninsula, accompanied by hot and dry northeasterly to northwesterly winds.
Temperatures will begin to drop slightly starting Friday, but the weather will remain hot and dry with temperatures five to seven degrees above their annual average of 32C, during this time of the year, Rafed said.
A further drop in mercury levels is forecast for Saturday, when daytime temperatures will reach 35C, the weather forecaster said.