6 Jun 2014

Power crisis hits Marshall Islands capital

6:32 pm on 6 June 2014

The Marshall Islands capital, Majuro, is bracing for a weekend without electricity after the atoll's generator broke down on Thursday.

Our correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says a surge at the power plant destroyed a key part of the main generator.

He says during the outage, backup generators at Majuro Hospital broke, plunging it into darkness.

"The wards were completely in darkness with not even flashlights available initially, nurses were using cellphone light to see and deliver medicines and take care of patients. They had a patient who had just come out of surgery on a ventilator so they had to go to a manual system to keep the patient alive, but fortunately they were able to restore the [backup] generator."

Giff Johnson says engineers are working around the clock to restore power to the Marshalls', but with critical backup components currently in Singapore for refurbishment, it could be at least Monday before it is back on line.