Sri Lanka imposes daily 4-hour power cuts due to dry weather

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka's state-run power agency announced Monday that it will cut electricity for four hours on weekdays as dry weather lowers the output of hydropower plants.

The Ceylon Electricity Board said power will be shut off for three hours in the daytime and one hour at night on weekdays. On Saturdays, it will be cut for three hours and there will be no cuts on Sundays and public holidays.

The board said dry, hot weather has caused energy demand to rise while water levels in reservoirs have fallen, forcing it to "restrict electricity generation from hydropower plants to save the water for drinking and irrigation requirements."

Sri Lanka depends largely on hydropower for electricity. During the dry season, it faces cuts when water levels go down, making it difficult to generate power.

The announcement came three days after the government tested artificial rainmaking in the tea-growing mountain region where most of the hydroelectric power is generated in a bid to reduce power outages.

About 45 minutes of artificial rain fell Friday in the area of the Maussakelle reservoir, about 135 kilometers east of the capital, Colombo. The Power and Energy Ministry said it will continue to create artificial rain over the next two weeks in the hill country.

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