Power cut as Benidorm celebrates

ONCE again the frailties of Spain’s energy infrastructure were exposed, when the lights went out for twenty minutes in the old town of Benidorm.

The bars were crowded with customers and the streets with shoppers. Candles were lit in the restaurants  just when one of the most important weekends of the summer season was starting, while many residents popped out their heads to watch from their balconies.

The mishap had an additional consequence, the darkness almost blacked out the celebratory party for the opening of La Vuelta, which was due to start the following morning in the town; embarrassing indeed, considering the event was to be used as a vehicle to promote the town.

The reasons for the failure were given as saturation of the power lines as a result of the high tourist occupation, combined with the aging network status in the old town.

It is not the first time so far this summer there are have been power cuts, but until now they had been intermittent.

“A temporary glitch in a medium voltage underground line” said electricity company Iberdrola, whose ” cause is unknown,” but they did act quickly and managed to restore power within 20 minutes by quite quickly by installing a special device on the problematic  connection between the higher voltage cables outside the old town, and the more archaic different system within it.

Given that Benidorm holds itself up as Europe’s main tourist resort; saying that there were too many people using electric, and the infrastructure wasn’t up to it, really doesn’t cut the mustard in 2011.

By Paul Deed

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