If what happened in Aukland NZ is any indication have we got any light at the end of the tunnel?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Criminals Desert Darkened City March 9, 1998 AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - The Associated Press via NewsEdge Corporation : Even criminals have deserted the darkened streets of downtown Auckland, where two weeks of power blackouts have made elevators risky, spoiled food and frustrated residents.
- ``It's been almost a crime-free zone,'' Inspector John Mitchell said Saturday. ``The normal level of muggings, violence, fights, burglary and robbery have just not happened.''
- With attempts to end the power blackout plaguing the heart of New Zealand's largest city failing over the past week, Auckland residents on Sunday resorted to the power of prayer.
- ``We pray for the people in the central business district of Auckland who are afflicted by the power crisis,'' parishioners chanted at St. Patrick's Cathedral downtown, on the edge of the 120-block zone that has been short of electricity since Feb. 20.
- The drop in crime is about the only good news for the 5,000 residents of the 120 square-block area in the commercial heart of the city that went dark Feb. 20 and has seen only short-lived, partial reprieves since. A hot, humid summer is blamed for the failure of four underground power cables supplying electricity from a hydroelectric plant south of Auckland.
- The power company _ Mercury Energy _ says it could be five to 10 weeks before power is restored to hard-hit blocks in the city of 1.2 million.
- In the meantime, a shipment of generators aboard a cargo ship was being prepared Saturday to provide power to the city from a berth at Auckland's wharves.
- Cables link the ship to the Mercury Energy supply, which has been able to provide only about half the usual daily load. Seven more large generators are scheduled to arrive by air freighter on Tuesday.
- On Saturday night, an Auckland concert featuring Elton John and Billy Joel went ahead as planned in a stadium outside the blackout area after some power was diverted from the city's supply.
- Andrew Crawford, general manager of a company that had promised to provide two 800-kilowatt generators for Saturday and Sunday concerts, said his company instead leased them to Auckland Hospital during the blackout.
- After the concert management company Show Power threatened to sue, Crawford said Power Hire of Onehunga pulled a generator off the central city power grid. ``The legal action is now halted,'' he said.
- With most downtown businesses closed for the weekend and power demand down, the generator was considered expendable. It was to be put back on the main downtown substation by Monday morning.
- Auckland Mayor Les Mills has said the power crisis could put 2,000 of the area's 8,000 companies out of business.
- Without air conditioning, employees have been sweating in harborside buildings with windows that don't open. Elevator service is spotty and companies' ability to function as usual has been seriously curtailed.
- The race is on to build a backup supply system down a six-mile rail corridor to downtown substations. Twelve teams of construction workers were to begin erecting poles Sunday for an overhead twin-cable project that planners hope will begin to provide electricity by the end of March.
- Soil experts and cable designers called in by New Zealand officials also have begun analyzing the failure of Mercury's four supply cables.
- ``We had to go worldwide to find experts to help in this diagnosis,'' Mercury spokesman Patrick Strange said. A determination could take up to a year, he said.
- Some downtown residents who live in high-rise apartments are almost prisoners in their own buildings, trapped on upper floors for hours on end when the power is out and elevators stop running.
- ``It's so tiring not being able to plan your day, because you don't know when the power will be on,'' said Laylah Reynolds, isolated on the ninth floor of her apartment building.
- Considering all the hardships, the ``lack of real anger is surprising,'' said Don Turkington, Cavill White Securities chief executive, after he attended church. ``They should be marching down the streets.''
[Copyright 1998, Associated Press
-- Patrick Hogue (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1998
I would be very surprised if the response to a prolonged electrical blackout in the United States was as subdued as it was in Aukland.
Lately, it seems that every situation that occurs has to have someone who is responsible and available to be sued. There is no such thing as an accident anymore in the U.S. And the response is usually much more violent in nature.
Of equal concern is the deep seated belief in much of the U.S. that one needs to be heavily armed in order to protect oneself in case violence does occur and the authorities can not contain it.
-- John L. Gustavus,M.D. (drjohn @ futura.net), March 15, 1998.
I thought bringing this VERY OLD thread back into the forum might dispel some stories that we have been seeing here lately. I have seen posts blaming this outage on Y2K testing, and even on Danish hackers.
-- Malcolm Taylor (email@example.com), November 10, 1999.