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Munich suffers worst power cuts in 20 years

BERLIN (AP) -- The southern German city of Munich and surrounding towns have suffered their worst power cuts in 20 years following damage to an overhead line.

Munich utility company SWM said the power failure began at 7 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) Thursday and affected some 450,000 customers.

Trams came to a standstill and traffic lights failed, causing chaos as commuters made their way to work in one of Germany's richest cities.

SWM said it was the worst outage since 1992 "and maybe the 1970s." It said electricity was restored within an hour for most customers.

Many Munich residents took to social networking site Twitter to voice fears that such power cuts could become more frequent as Germany implements a wide-ranging program to switch from fossil and nuclear fuels to renewable energy.