Monday, July 23, 2007

TV3 is reporting that 110,000 clients in Barcelona are still without electricity as of 10 PM, and that it might take days to get everyone reconnected. The most seriously affected areas are Gracia, Guinardo, and Nou Barris, where 80,000 clients depend on the Paseo Maragall substation that caught on fire. The 30,000 clients on the left side of the Eixample, which depends on the Calle Urgell substation, will supposedly be back on line tomorrow morning.

The city basically can't do business, with many banks without power, not to mention offices and shops. Everybody dependent on computers has had problems, since they don't work too good without electricity.

Here in Gracia it's a little strange, with some buildings powered and others down. The Bar Vall on the plaza has power, but not the Bar Zeus down the street. The Pakistani grocery store is down, and so is the fruit shop on the plaza. We've got electricity here, but some other people in the neighborhood don't.

The police are getting ready for a "complicated night," as TV3 put it, with no streetlights in much of the city. The cell phone system was down for part of the day, and the fixed-line phones were down for about half an hour this morning.

This is going to mean trouble for the municipal and regional governments, since whenever there's a big screwup in Spain somebody gets the finger pointed at him, his head rolls, and society's displeasure is expiated. That somebody is often from the government, and I'm guessing that Mayor Hereu and regional prime minister Montilla, both Socialists, are going to take some heat. Also expect the PP to demand the resignation of every Socialist within range, and for the Catalan nationalists to pitch a hissy fit about how not enough public money is spent--they prefer "invested"--in Catalonia.

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