The Greek island of Santorini was gradually regaining access to electricity after a 24-hour blackout, its mayor said Wednesday.

Santorini, one of the country's premier tourist destinations, was hit with a sweeping power shortage on Tuesday after a fire at the Aegean island's main electricity plant.

Mayor Nikolaos Zorzos told AFP: "Generators and repair equipment arrived Wednesday morning and the outage is gradually getting better.

"The situation is improving by alternating the power flow to different areas," he said.

The mayor did not specify the cause of the fire, but said the "priority was to deal with the power outage," at the height of tourist season with 120,000 visitors on the island.

The Public Power Corporation, Greece's main power provider, said Tuesday that a fire at a power plant in the island's capital of Fira had knocked out one of the generators.

Kimon Steriotis, director of communications at the corporation, told local radio that a technical problem had arisen in a new engine and that the blackout was not due to a maintenance issue.

"This is a chance incident... similar failures can happen anywhere in the world," he said.

But local government officials denounced the state of the electricity grid on Greek islands, especially in summer.

"We must modernise existing units on the islands and link them to the mainland network," vice-governor of the Cyclades George Poussaios told Greek daily Ta Nea.

Poussaios called for cables to be laid under the sea to connect the islands to the main grid, a longstanding plan that has yet to be implemented.

Santorini, renowned for its beautiful sunsets and picturesque villages perched on rocky outcrops, is one of Greece's most popular travel destinations, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Greece has enjoyed a 10 percent increase in foreign visitors compared to last year, mainly due to a stabilisation in its political situation and from tourists who have shunned Turkey and North Africa because of political unrest.

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