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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Italy blackout: Your comments
View of Rome
Romans had been celebrating when the power went

Most of Italy has been hit by a massive power cut.

The blackout came as a result of a malfunction of major supply lines from France - the two countries have a long-standing electricity exchange scheme to help deal with peaks in demand on both sides.

It is the latest in a series of major blackouts to affect national power grids - north-east United States and Canada were hit last month, and Denmark and southern Sweden on Tuesday.

Were you there? Send us your views and experiences.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received.

I live in a northern industrial town. Last night I lost my deep-frozen food but I found a fine starry sky and a candlelit meditation. Not so bad...
Mariagrazia, Italy

I woke up in the night because I heard some noises, but I went to the kitchen and I couldn't see anything. The window was open, I tried to close it and while doing that I touched a bat. I screamed...
Alessandro, Italy

I live in Milan at 0330 (0130 GMT) the power went, at 0530 (0300 GMT) the buzzer for the burglar alarm couldn't be ignored anymore, we switched it off checked outside to discover the whole city seemed to be blacked out, only a few car lights. We went back to bed, getting up at 0940 (0740 GMT) everything seems to be normal. After checking on the internet we discovered that the whole country was blacked out.
Richard Black, Italy

The blackout began at 0335 (0135 GMT) in Padova, Veneto and the power returned at 0950 (0750 GMT). Four hours no telephone - no television and no public lighting. No police service into street of the city - no public awareness.
Giuseppe Michieli, Italy

The massive power failures in the US, England, Italy, and Denmark are too similar and have happened too close together for me to consider this a coincidence.
Wendy, US

It is interesting to remember the Italian paper full of negative comments about the US blackout and how such a thing could 'never' happen in Italy. My family lives in Udine near Austria and we had soon power diverted from the Austrian grid.
Antonio, UK

I see very little comment on this bizarre sequence of extraordinary blackouts (US, UK, Denmark, Italy) which must, over the timescale it has occurred, be statistically extremely improbable. Terrorism was quickly and unequivocally denied by the authorities each time. Is it then merely coincidence that each of the affected European countries capitulated to US pressure over the Iraq war? It seems to me that the improbability of these unprecedented events happening one after another should trigger curiosity at the very least. If Spain goes black next week, we'll know. Or is it just that privatisation of supply has meant that profit-taking has become core, more important than reinvestment in infrastructure?
Julian Chilcott, Netherlands

I'm so happy we had a blackout! I live in Rome and I couldn't sleep until 0300 (0100 GMT) for the chaos in the streets during the so-called "White Night" of our Mayor, Walter Veltroni, who is looking for personal promotion on mass media. After the blackout all became quiet and silent and I've been sleeping very very well. Good night Veltroni!
Marcello Medilisano, Italia

I was sleeping, when I heard the alarms screaming. Everything was dark and silent. I kept on sleeping.
Alessandro, Italy

No problem during the night but was woken up at 0800 (0600 GMT) when the television, the lights and all the house alarms turned on at the same time. I thought my son was being a pest and flew out of bed to blast him about considerations on a Sunday morning but then realised he was still asleep...
Nicholas, Genoa, Italy.

Power cut? What power cut? I am drinking a cuppa made with my electric kettle and writing this note to you on my electric computer !
Peter, Italy

I make wine down here in Sicily - it's quite a large cantina - there are always blackouts, so we have a large generator and that's fairly normal for most Italian wineries. The electricity supply is poor quality and extremely expensive with indifferent service. I got up this morning, we are near the end of the vintage and no power, everything normal for Sicily, nothing exceptional at all for any third world country.
Brian Fletcher, Italy (Sicily)

The strange thing here is that we have been warned all summer about possible power cut, yet this is the first time it has happened here. Luckily it was in the middle of the night, and luckier we did not go down to Rome for the white nights!
Olivier, Modena, Italy

This is not a clear situation... My opinion on this dangerous electricity blackout is that power managing systems may have been affected by a software power worm.
Roberto, North-eastern Italy

It's a shame. In the late 1970's and early 1980's we banned nuclear power because of the left-wing parties. Now we have to buy electricity from other countries.
Alberto Moscato, Italy

According to the radio, France supplies only 20% of the power to us. If this is the case how could this bring the whole country to a standstill?!
Catherine, Parma, Italy

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Massive power cut hits Italy
28 Sep 03  |  In Depth


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