Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan suffered electrical power outages in major cities on Tuesday after a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected.

Millions of people were left without power after a huge blackout hit three Central Asian countries Tuesday following an unspecified accident.  The capitals of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan's economic hub Almaty suffered power cuts at around lunchtime local time, with media and officials reporting that the blackouts had extended far into the provinces of the three countries.

Power blackout hit Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday (January 25) as a major power line in Kazakhstan was disconnected at 10:57 am, according to Podrobno.uz Telegram-channel.  

Uzbekistan's energy ministry said in a statement on its official Telegram channel that the power outage had been triggered by an accident in Kazakhstan’s power grid.

"As a result of a major accident in the power grids of Kazakhstan, there was a power outage in the (southern Kazakh) cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Taras, Turkestan (regions) and adjacent areas," the statement said.

"The Uzbek power grid, which is connected to the Unified Power Grid, was damaged as a result of an accident that led to sudden changes in voltage and frequency on 530 lines from Kazakhstan," it added.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s tengrinews, citing Kazakhstan's national electricity provider KEGOS, said that “due to a significant emergency imbalance created by the energy system of Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), there was a surge in power for the transit of electricity" between grids in Kazakhstan.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the airport in Almaty, where the power cut did not affect the whole city, was continuing to work normally, but Tashkent's airport had stopped receiving flights due to the power outage Tashkent's metro, which is the largest in the region, had also ceased working.  

NDTV.com says Central Asian countries have seen their grids burdened by a summer drought that affected hydropower capacity in Kyrgyzstan and by a boom in cryptocurrency mining in the region, especially in Kazakhstan.

The growth of cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan was reportedly linked in part to a de facto ban on the practice in neighboring China, and a spike in prices for volatile cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the second half of last year.