Photo Credit: Twitter
Elia electricity transmission system operator in Belgium

Sirens wailed across the city Thursday night as the Belgian city of Brussels was suddenly, unaccountably plunged into darkness.

After more than two and a half hours, one user on the Twitter social networking site commented, “Electricity seems to be back in Saint Josse” and a second tweeted “Yeah the light is back after more than one hour in the dark.” But dozens of others responded that darkness still reigned, “Reason unknown.”

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The Elia electricity transmission system operator in Belgium tweeted a confirmation that there had, indeed, been a “serious power failure” in Brussels… Cause still unknown.”

An eventual update brought the news that the blackout was due to an “electric network distribution problem,” according to a spokesperson for Sibelga, the distribution network operator for electricity and natural gas in the Brussels region.

The city was placed on security alert as officials tried to ward off fears of terrorism while figuring out what was causing the power outage.

The blackout was first reported at around 10:45 pm local time, according to the UK-based Daily Mail. A more localized power outage reported earlier in the day had been resolved by 8:30 pm, the news outlet reported.

Brussels is home to a number of key headquarters for the European Union, among them the European Council and the European Commission.

Earlier this week, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel to Jerusalem, and reminded him that Israel is the strongest force in the Middle East that prevents the collapse of the Western part of the Middle East. .. Israel is doing an important service for the peoples of Europe, including Belgium.”

On Wednesday, however, Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry to reprimand Belgium’s Ambassador Olivier Belle, after Michel met during his visit with the leaders of the anti-Israel organizations Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement, “Initiatives are underway by the Belgian state prosecutor to try senior Israelis, including Tzipi Livni and IDF officers. The Belgian government needs to decide whether it wants to change direction or continue with an anti-Israel line.”

Numerous reports on social media showed photos of darkened neighborhoods and said the northern part of the city was the worst affected by the outages. Tweets reported “mass panic” and “sirens heard all over the city.”

One irritated consumer tweeted, “Forget to pay the electricity bill again?”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.