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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blackout Fears Amid a Record Heat Wave

As the temperature hit a record high Monday, Moscow's electricity provider scrambled to prevent a blackout due to a surge in the use of air conditioners.

The temperature hit 33.2 degrees Celsius in Moscow on Monday, surpassing a record of 32.2 degrees set for the day in 1995, Interfax reported, citing the Moscow area weather bureau.

Electricity use jumped 8 percent, forcing Unified Energy Systems to impose limits on corporate consumers, company spokeswoman Margarita Nagoga said, Interfax reported. The situation was exasperated by the closure of the city's Matveyevskaya transmission substation for repairs, she said.

The limits are to be lifted Tuesday.

Two years ago, a surge in demand caused by a heat wave led to a power outage that began in Moscow and spread to the Moscow, Tula, Kaluga and Ryazan regions, leaving 1.5 million to 2 million people without electricity.

Monday's heat sparked small fires at several electricity substations around Moscow, Interfax said.

A poll of Moscow kiosk vendors, meanwhile, found that the sale of beverages shot up by 80 percent on Monday. Beer sales alone were up 90 percent, according to the Interfax poll.

Moscow temperatures are expected to hover around 30 degrees for the rest of the week.