More than 13,500 electricity supply customers across Lewis and Harris were affected by major power cuts yesterday evening (Tuesday April 10) - with mobile phone services also affected.

The first power cut began just after 8pm and lasted for an hour before power began to be restored gradually as night fell.

A further blackout hit Stornoway and the surrounding area about 9.45 pm and lasted several minutes.

The original fault arose from the impact of a fire near one of the main transmission lines in Harris. (see more on

It was originally expected that the gradual restoration of power would be complete across the Islands before 10pm.  Power finally returned to all areas around 11pm.

Social media reported that Stornoway's oil-fired power station at Battery Point was brought on-line to provide power. 

The network was re-energised in stages, with an assurance that anyone who remains without power should see their supply restored by midnight tonight.

A fault on the main network caused by a heather fire close to electrical equipment has been given as the source of the outage.

Network operator SSEN apologised to all affected customers for the inconvenience.

If anyone remained without power after midnight they were asked report the fault using the emergency number 105.

The photograph - from Western Isles Weather and Joan Smith on Twitter - shows the main island power supply line running through blazing hills south of Tarbert.

(This report has been updated numerous times since first being posted around 9.15pm last night)