Residents in almost 3,000 homes and businesses in Yarmouth and Lowestoft woke to find they had no electricity this morning after a lightning strike on an overhead cable.

The strike happened at 3.58am, leaving 2,766 customers unable to boil the kettle for a morning cuppa.

Power was restored to most people by 7.37am, but EDF Energy engineers are still working to reconnect the final 163 customers in Bradwell and Belton.

The incident came as East Anglia was recovering from a night of fierce thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, electricity supply was expected to return to normal after hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across London, Cheshire, Merseyside and East Anglia were affected between 11am and 1pm yesterday.

The blackouts occurred when the Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk and the Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife both went off-line within several minutes of each other.

In total, nine generating units across the country became unavailable.

Stuart Larque, spokesman for the National Grid, said: "We think it will be a case of business as usual. We have a very robust system in the UK. It rarely fails and that's why everybody is talking about it so much."

The blackouts were caused by the opposite of a power surge as the National Grid deactivated local stations to maintain the required 50hz frequency. When demand is greater than generation, the system fails.