Highlands & Islands

Lightning cuts off 999 phonelines in Highlands

A lightning strike left thousands of homes in the Highlands and Western Isles unable to contact emergency services on their telephone landlines.

A BT spokesman said more than 2,600 customers were affected after a "cable failure" between Loch Broom and Gairloch.

The fault, reported at about 1330 BST on Wednesday, also cut off about 1,900 broadband users in the area.

Engineers restored the lines at about 0150 BST on Thursday.

Officers from Northern Constabulary carried out emergency patrols while the lines were out of action. They could still be contacted via mobile phone.

Police said lines were affected in the following areas:

  • Eriskay, South Uist - 100 lines
  • Shawbost, Isle of Lewis - 429 lines
  • Stornoway, Isle of Lewis - 1,660 lines, partial loss
  • Strathconon, Wester Ross - 89 lines
  • Dundonnell, Wester Ross - 186 lines
  • Torridon, Wester Ross - 165 lines
  • Glenmazeran, Tomatin - 61 lines

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