PARTS of Portsmouth have been plunged into darkness as a major power cut affected thousands of homes in the city tonight.
Areas right the way across the city lost power, from Cosham and Hilsea in the north, to Southsea and Fratton on the southern parts of the island.
The cut happened shortly before 9pm. For some homes, it was momentary, with power being restored in less than a minute.
However, for others, the lights remain off – and will continue to do so for at least an hour as electricity engineers battle to restore power.
Some residents in the city have said they have no 4G internet on their mobile phones.
In a statement on Twitter, Scottish and Southern Electric said: ‘We are aware of a power cut affecting Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.
‘We have a main network fault but are experiencing a high level of messages so please only contact us if you have any concerns.
‘We’re aiming to have you restored by 22:00.’
Gemma Rooke, 34, of Poole is staying at the Premier Inn near Portsmouth & Southsea railway station. She said the whole area has been plunged into darkness.
‘The power just went and hasn’t come back,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit unnerving because even the emergency lights are playing up at the moment.
‘Nobody knows what has happened.’
The cut is the latest in a string of blackout to blight the city in recent weeks.
Last week, Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson criticised SSE for its patchy power in the city.
He said: ‘Southern Electric has a duty to make sure that they can provide electricity to people. People depend on it.
'But once again they have been unable to do this. If Southern Electric can't guarantee the perhaps the city needs a new supplier.'