(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait warned that power cuts will increase as brutal heat drives demand higher, a rare move by a Middle Eastern petrostate that highlights the region’s growing struggle with extreme weather.

Authorities were forced to cut electricity to several areas for one to two hours to avoid longer blackouts on Wednesday, and the Ministry of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy said such action may be taken again if needed. Temperatures reached as high as 51C (124F) on Thursday. It will only get hotter as the summer has just started. 

The scorching weather is spreading across the Middle East, with hundreds of heat-related deaths reported in the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and severe energy shortages in Egypt. While hot summers are not uncommon in Kuwait, the fact that the country has had to resort to power cuts is a stark reminder to other rich economies in the region about climate risks.

“It’s not only for Kuwait, it’s the entire region that is going to be suffering from this,” said Nadim Farajalla, chief sustainability officer at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. “The length of heat waves is growing.”

Experts in the nation have been warning for decades of a looming electricity crisis, due to indecision around building new power stations to keep up with demand as electricity is heavily subsidized. The government is now urging people to curb usage but there’s little financial incentive for them to do so. Cutting these benefits isn’t always a politically viable option. 

Fuad Al-Own, a former official at Kuwait’s electricity and water ministry, said he’s not surprised about the crisis the nation finds itself in. 

“I expected it to happen two or three years ago,” he said in an interview. “No one understood the importance of taking preventive measures, you have to plan years in advance.”

Aging power stations that the state has failed to renovate because of a lack of spare parts, as well as a little investment in new capacity, are a major part of the problem, he said. 

The power cuts in Kuwait are just the latest evidence of extreme weather causing havoc in the region. In April, Dubai suffered torrential rains which left homes and roads flooded for days. 

Read: Dubai Floods Expose Weaknesses to a Rapidly Changing Climate

Elsewhere, India’s tech capital Bangalore has struggled with water shortages. Extreme heat is also starting to impact Europe and America this summer. 

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