August 27, 2018 / 11:52 AM / in 3 months

Blackout leaves popular Greek Hydra island without lights, water

ATHENS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - A power outage has left holidaymakers on the Greek island of Hydra without electricity and water since Sunday at the height of the tourism season, authorities said on Monday as they worked to repair the problem.

The blackout affecting Hydra, a popular destination not far from Athens, began in the early hours of Sunday and later hit its water supply system as many of its pumps rely on electricity, said the island’s mayor, George Koukoudakis.

“We are not able to measure the impact yet but as the island is full of visitors this gives a bad impression,” he told Reuters.

The island gets its power from continental Greece via two undersea cables and damage was detected in one of them, an official at Greece’s power utility Public Power Corp. (PPC) said. It was not yet clear, however, why the power supplied via the second cable also failed.

Cash withdrawal machines were not working, while mini-markets, restaurants and ice-cream shops on Hydra saw much of their stock destroyed in the summer heat, Greece’s SKAI TV said. Telecommunications were limited.

Nikos Sofianos, who owns a hotel on the island, said the economic impact was huge and several visitors left on Monday morning.

“Our hotel is fully booked, but our customers are not able to use toilets or take a shower,” Sofianos said.

Tourism is one of Greece’s main sources of revenue, driving a tentative economic recovery after a long crisis. The country of about 11 million attracted over 27 million tourists in 2017 and expects a record 32 million this year. (Reporting by Stratos Karakasidis; Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Karolina Tagaris and Andrei Khalip)

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