"Besides electricity, we also had no gas and, in many houses, no running water"

Neighbours of Falset are getting their electricity back after an all-night blackout

The Storm Filomena has left 6,300 customers without electricity supply in several parts of Catalonia, especially in the regions of Tarragona, since last night, as reported by the Efe agency. The situation is slowly recovering thanks to the endeavour of workers, and it is expected to return to normal during the next hours.

During Saturday there were already problems due to the storm that were solved, but from 21 h there was a new cut that still lasts. According to the agency, the blackouts in Tarragona occurred last night, but could not be attended to immediately due to the safety of workers during the snowfall. This morning technicians have resumed their work.

The lack of electricity has affected especially the south of Tarragona, and Falset, the capital of Priorat, has had 1,347 homes without light, but from noon there were only 120. However, problems persist in the Masroig (Priorat), with 355 homes without service, 530 in Arnes (Terra Alta), and 327 in the Palma d'Ebre (Ribera d'Ebre).

"We have suffered, because we did not have gas either and, in many houses, no water", the mayor of Falset and vice-president of the Consell Comarcal del Priorat, Carlos Brull, explained. The snowfall has left many farmhouses in Falset isolated without light. The Town Hall has permanent telephone contact in case of emergency.

An Endesa (the Spanish electricity company) spokeswoman attributes the problems in re-establishing the supply to the difficulties in accessing the electrical installations. "A worker had to walk two miles through the snow to change a piece", she says. The priority was to re-establish normality in the town's care home home and there are seven electrical generators ready in case they are needed.

Brull shows "restlessness" while it snows on top of thicknesses that already accumulate 60 centimeters because "the territory is not prepared" and the forecasts inform that the storm will last. In statements to the ACN, the mayor has said that the brigades are working to clean the main accesses to the municipality, but he believes it will be necessary to delay the return to school to Tuesday to clean the roads. The Department of Education will decide in the next few hours.

For his part, the mayor of Arnes (Terra Alta), Joaquim Miralles, has explained to the ACN that the 500 inhabitants of the town have been left without electricity. The clock of the parish church has stopped at four o'clock in the morning, when the blackout has started due to the breakdown of an antena that has not been able to be located until noon due to the great amount of snow that has fallen in this municipality - up to 65 centimeters. 

Also in Morera de Montsant (Priorat) the mayoress, Fina Palomar, describes a "very complicated" situation. Since yesterday at six o'clock in the afternoon they have not had electricity, more than 20 hours ago. In declarations to the ACN, she has asked for "maximum urgency" to receive the Endesa generators, since there are many old people in the town and not everyone has a fireplace. The snow is 45 centimetres thick, and they fear they may have problems with the water supply.

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