South America is in blackout season:
Peru: All-day outage in northern section of the country because a single 220 kilovolt power line went down. What was some dude saying about redundant systems? Winning quote from that story is the electric utility saying they have a contingency plan, but they couldn’t implement it because there was no electricity. Hmm.
Chile: Blackout hits half of Santiago, halting a subway line and ending express service on two other lines in the middle of the busiest time of day, the morning rush hour. Then someone died on a train later in the day, extending the day’s chaos. Why it all starts to sound like
Venezuela: Power problems persist all over the country following the end of formal power rationing. Most notable was the situation in Caracas a week ago, where the Metro was halted because of electric outages during the morning rush hour. This account captures the unpleasantness.
Ecuador: Explosions in the underground power lines, all-day blackout. Yeah yeah we get the point. Destruction is boring. Give us death….
Argentina, etc: Cold spell. More a gas outage than a power outage, but deserves a mention. 30 dead in Argentina and 50 more in neighboring countries. It’s not even that cold — we’re talking about nightly lows of between 0 and -8 Celsius. Few buildings are insulated, and what natural gas there is seems to all get burned in the heated outdoor smoking salons in Belgrano and Palermo (no really, I’m not kidding) rather than going to the homes (or even shelters) of the needy. The eternal flame for San Martin at the Buenos Aires cathedral could alone probably heat a row of homes. But hey no big deal, what are a few (dozen) dead bodies compared to patriotic symbolism?
(Updated to fix a couple typos. Yes, I had called the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Belgrano by the name “Belgravia.”)