Power Cuts Leave City In the Dark

Power Cuts Leave City In the Dark

Published: October 11, 2011 (Issue # 1678)

St. Petersburg suffered several power cuts at the weekend, leaving hundreds of residents without electricity, water or central heating.

Angry callers to Ekho Moskvy radio station complained Monday of having to walk up 16 flights of stairs because lifts weren’t working, and of having to feed their children cold porridge because there was no electricity with which to cook food.

On Saturday, residents in part of the Primorsky district were left without power for much of the day, and on Sunday a similar problem hit parts of the Kupchino and Murino districts. Inhabitants of Murino village outside St. Petersburg were the worst affected, losing their water supply too, local news web site Fontanka.ru reported.

The Primorsky district had no electricity from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday due to a problem at the Ozero Dolgoye electricity substation that belongs to local energy network Lenenergo.

The incident left about 40 buildings without electricity in the area of Bogatyrsky Prospekt, Planernaya Ulitsa and Glukharskaya Ulitsa, including both residential buildings and shopping malls.

On Sunday, 120 buildings found themselves without power at 7 p.m. in the area of Malaya Balkanskaya Ulitsa and Budapeshtskaya Ulitsa in Kupchino. The power outage also reached a local hospital and maternity clinic. The hospital was forced to use a reserve electricity system, while the maternity clinic was fortunately not open at the time of the incident.

The blackout in Kupchino was caused by a problem at the Yuzhnaya electricity substation. The power was turned back on at 3:30 a.m.

The third outage affected the village of Murino, located in the Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad Oblast on its border with St. Petersburg. The blackout caused the local water pumping station to stop working too, meaning residents of the area suffered not only from a lack of electricity, but were also left without running water.

St. Petersburg has suffered other blackouts in recent years, including a major power outage in the center of the city in August last year, when not only residential buildings were left without electricity, but also some metro stations and suburban trains, as well as streetlights.

Just a few months later, on Oct. 13 last year, the city suffered another two localized blackouts, also in the Primorsky and Frunzensky districts. On Oct. 20, a power cut affected the city’s Central district, and on Feb. 13 this year, the city’s southwestern district was left without power, while on May 23 it was the turn of the Kirovsky district to make do without electricity.

City Hall has promised to solve St. Petersburg’s electricity problems by 2012, Fontanka reported.

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