The cyber attack on Australia’s electricity grid has left millions without power and forced thousands of customers to abandon their homes, leaving many without the ability to access the internet.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has confirmed that around 10 million Australians were without electricity last night and the blackout will continue into this morning.
AEMo said it was working with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to get the public informed about the situation and to provide support services for those who are affected.
While most customers are still receiving power, the AEMO said it expected many to be without power for up to six weeks.
“Due to the nature of the incident and the magnitude of the impact, it is likely that the power outage will last longer than 6 weeks, but will be minimised,” AEMo warned.
Electricity companies are reporting up to three million customers are without power, with more than 20 million people still without access to power.
Australia’s power system is reliant on fossil fuels to generate electricity, and there is no certainty that renewables will be able to keep pace with demand.
The AEMA says the blackout was caused by a large distributed denial-of-service attack that has caused power lines to be disconnected and forced some customers to turn to generators.
An AEME spokesperson said the incident was an unprecedented event and the electricity system was in shock.
Some power lines have been cut across the state, causing disruptions to interstate power connections.
More than 200,000 customers are affected by the blackout and there has been an immediate reduction in electricity prices, according to AEMe.
However, some power companies are warning people to be cautious about their use of their internet connections.