Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rolling blackout in Moscow

What a mess in Moscow yesterday. Power Goes Off in Moscow, 4 Regions and Outage Brings Big Businesses to a Standstill. Looks like power was restored somewhat but that it continued in some areas until this morning (Thursday.)

Hundreds of thousands were stranded in the subway and had to be extricated by authorities, in the dark it looks like, and about 1500 people had to be rescued from elevators stuck between floors. Traffic, which is a real problem in Moscow on good days, became a nightmare with all the traffic lights not working. And then there's all the economic damage:

Large companies closed their offices, trading shut down, tons of meat went bad and taxi drivers started demanding 5,000 rubles ($180) for a ride from Paveletsky Station to Domodedovo Airport.

The cost of Wednesday's power outage in Moscow and four nearby regions was impossible to calculate by evening, but it looked set to run into the billions of rubles over lost income and disrupted services.

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