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Summer's first heat wave strains Greece's national electricity grid

June 20, 2007
Fears of power cuts rose Wednesday as the summer's first heat wave was set to push demand for electricity to record levels, officials said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, nationwide electrical demand was at 9,240 megawatts. Daily demand by early next week is expected to peak above 10,000 megawatts _ higher than the all-time single-day record of 9,961 megawatts recorded Aug. 21, 2006.Brief blackouts hit parts of Athens on Monday and the northern city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday, and power officials said further localized cuts would be unavoidable.

Temperatures in Athens reached 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. By the weekend some parts of the mainland could reach 42 C (107.6 F), meteorologists said, peaking at 43 C (109.4 F) by Monday.Meteorologists said the conditions were worsened by southerly winds from the Sahara.
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