Thousands of people in the east of Berlin had to get by for hours on Sunday evening without heating and without warm water – with outside temperatures of around three degrees Celsius. A brief power outage at the state’s own electricity network operator Stromnetz Berlin had paralyzed the Klingenberg thermal power station in the Rummelsburg district in the afternoon, as the energy supplier Vattenfall announced. The power plant owned by the company had to shut down.
According to Vattenfall, the water in the pipes of around 90,000 households, mainly in Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, was therefore gradually cooling down. According to the Lichtenberg district office, people in Karlshorst, Oberschöneweide and parts of Treptow-Köpenick were also affected.
Disaster warning app Nina provides information
The district office had informed Nina about the incident in the evening via the disaster warning app. The disaster and civil protection officer of the Lichtenberg district, Philipp Cachée, assumed late on Sunday evening that all households would be supplied with district heating again in the early hours of the morning between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
However, especially in high-rise buildings, it could take longer for the heat to reach the apartments, said Cachée. There, the caretakers would often have to manually reset so-called transfer stations. These stations regulate the heat transfer from the district heating network into the houses. Cachée emphasized that, as far as we know, the abrupt shutdown did not damage the power plant. However, starting up must now be done carefully and slowly to avoid problems.
A Vattenfall spokesman initially assumed that all households could be heated again by midnight.
Train traffic is not affected, but stations and hospitals are
The District office and the fire department advisedTo keep windows and doors closed. Open fires or barbecues should not be lit under any circumstances. Ovens should not be used for heating either. People should keep themselves warm with clothes and blankets and also help their elderly neighbors.
The Klingenberg thermal power station supplies more than 300,000 households with electricity and heat. According to the network operator Stromnetz Berlin, the power outage in the afternoon was due to a technical fault in a substation in Berlin-Friedrichshain. There, as well as in Prenzlauer Berg and Lichtenberg, around 20,000 households were without electricity for a few minutes, as a spokeswoman said. The fault on the high voltage level was therefore resolved after just three minutes. Vattenfall, on the other hand, spoke of around 370,000 people affected by the power failure.
However, the train stations Ostbahnhof, Warschauer Straße, Ostkreuz and Lichtenberg were temporarily without light. Train traffic was not affected. According to disaster relief activist Cachée, four hospitals were also struggling with the consequences of the power failure late in the evening.