A Danish island in the Baltic Sea near the Nord Stream pipelines suffered power outages today, as experts warned that the underwater electricity cables have been cut. Authorities noted that so far, the reason for the damage was unknown, fears have been raised that Russia could target undersea electricity cables, particularly since the Russian Nord Stream pipelines suffered leaks last month, with many blaming Russia for sabotaging the pipeline, cutting off Europe from critical gas supplies. Following the “sabotage” of Russian undersea gas pipelines that caused gas to leak out into the Baltic Sea last month, the vulnerability of critical underwater energy and internet cables and pipelines has been laid bare.
Described as the “world’s information super-highways”, there are more than 400 fiberoptic pipes that together span 1.3 million kilometres of the seas.
TREFOR the company that provides Bornholm with power noted that the Danish island was “unfortunately affected by operational disruptions at the moment.”
They wrote on their website: “There is no reason to speculate as to the cause at this time. And we are in the process of clarifying what is to blame for the power cut.”
The power outage occurred just before 8 am, and the provider added that by 9:35 AM, about one-third of the population had electricity back, with the whole island expected to have supply back by noon.
Energinet, the company that owns the subsea cable that provides electricity to Bornholm, added that a fault in the high-voltage grid had resulted in consumers on Bornholm losing power and it was “working hard to locate the problem”
While authorities have placed on blame for these power cuts, the island is very close to the location where several leaks were found in the Nord Stream pipelines.
Previously, both the governments of Denmark and Sweden said that they suspected the leaks were a deliberate act of sabotage, and one that would require several hundred pounds of explosives.
Since the leaks last month, experts have warned that if Russian President Vladimir Putin, who many Western officials have pinpointed as the perpetrator of the Nord Stream explosions, gets to Europe’s electricity cables before the West can leap their defences, the consequences could be “devastating”.
READ MORE: Britain warned millions of miles of subsea cables at risk
Brandon Weichert, a former congressional staff member and author of ‘Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower’, told Express.co.uk: “Should the Russian Navy manage to cut even a fraction of those undersea cables (which I suspect they will), Europe will be disconnected from the rest of the world, or at least significant parts of it, and communications will be disastrously slow.
“Satellites will be essential for providing critical bandwidth but, Russia (and China) have plans to disable our vital-yet-vulnerable satellites that orbit the Earth that, in conjunction with the cutting of critical undersea communications cables linking Europe to the rest of the world, would effectively isolate Europe (and certainly Ukraine) from the US.
“The cables, of course, can be repaired, but we would need time to identify where the sabotage physically took place, time to repair, and it might take extra time if the Russians attack our repair crews or if the Russians simply move farther down the line and continue attacking the cables at different points.
“The longer it takes to repair these things, the more desperate the situation gets. Apply that to the Russian-made disaster in Ukraine and throughout the continent. Total disaster awaits.”
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Meanwhile, experts have warned that Britain could be at risk of such an attack, with Harry Buckle, author of ‘Just One Day’, who has also worked with MI6, telling Express.co.uk: “Vladimir Putin is unlikely to be the least bit concerned that, in light of the three massive holes in the Nord Stream pipeline supplying Russian gas to Europe, that the Royal Navy has deployed a frigate to patrol those vital gas pipelines.
“Their mission is also to protect the now even more crucial new pipeline from Norway to Europe and indeed subsea cables”. But Mr Buckle stressed that the “current focus is on gas pipelines.”
This comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that the “mysterious” attack on the Nord Stream pipelines should remind us of how “fragile” Britain’s energy and internet infrastructure are to “hybrid attacks”.
But Mr Buckle has warned that Britain is “woefully under-equipped to defend millions of miles of subsea cables and thousands of miles of those vital high-pressure gas pipelines”.