Malta in crisis, six days of power cuts
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta is facing a crisis following six consecutive days of power cuts as the country is facing one of the longest heatwaves in history. While a number of localities are still left without electricity, the Meteorological Office issued a red alert, warning the temperature is expected to continue reaching over 40°C until at least mid of next week.
People are sleeping outdoors. Shops particularly supermarkets had to throw away frozen food and other refrigerated items worth thousands of euros. Businesses had to close down. Mental health patients were left in panic as the mental hospital was plunged into darkness for more than hours. According to local reports, “Some patients were screaming, panicking, and shouting. Nurses had to use their mobile phones to walk around. They had to give out the evening tablets by using mobile phone light”.
Enemalta, the State energy provider described the situation as “abnormal” with an increase of 8% in the peak load. 42 electrical faults over four days were reported some 22 are still being repaired, 12 of which are “works in progress”. The State energy company is blaming high temperatures for damaging underground cables.
The Nationalist Opposition has called on Energy Minister Miriam Dalli to resign and asked for parliament to be reconvened for an urgent session on Saturday to address the “national crisis” issue of the numerous blackouts the country has experienced this week. The Opposition’s request was refused by Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela.
The Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech stated: “We are experiencing and living during a national crisis,” adding “elderly, vulnerable people, families and businesses are suffering due to the lack of electric services. Power cuts have been ongoing for days”.
However, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli declared: “My focus is on addressing this challenge, and options for compensation will be tackled later. Dalli said that she “cannot exclude further consequences from the heatwave”.
European Parliament President and Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola accused the Labour administration of a long list of shortcomings. “The government has failed. Failed in traffic management, planning, and development, electricity, and infrastructure. Failed to find solutions and ensure that by the year 2023, people are not living without energy. Failed in harnessing solar energy and renewable solutions”.