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Cypriots swelter as deadly blast triggers energy crisis, pushes economy to the brink

NICOSIA, Cyprus — When the power cuts out and the blades of his outsize electric fan no longer spin, Joseph Piripitsis steps out of his convenience store in hopes that a breeze will cool him off in the suffocating, 39 degree Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit) summertime heat.

A deadly explosion that killed 13 and shut down Cyprus’ main power plant and triggered an energy crisis has wreaked such damage to the nation’s economy that it may need a bailout, the country’s top banker warned Wednesday.

“I believe that the economy is now at a state of emergency,” Orphanides said in a July 18 letter to President Dimitris Christofias, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

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