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Dec 31, 2007

Placencia tourists/residents suffer through 18-hour blackout

The stars shone brightly over Placencia last night … of course they had no competition as the entire peninsula was plunged into darkness by an eighteen hour power failure. The blackout which began around six Sunday evening and lasted until twelve-fifteen this afternoon had hotel and restaurant owners scrambling to serve a record number of visitors while coping with a lack of air conditioning, fans, refrigeration and light. The situation was made worse by an earlier outage, which had cut power from around four a.m. until noon on Sunday. A release from Belize Electricity Limited stated that today’s outage was caused by a damaged transformer in Independence and replacement parts had to be driven down from Belize City. The only bright spot in the crisis was that Telemedia’s extensive cellular phone system on the peninsula, which ran on emergency power, allowed residents to communicate freely throughout the night and morning. Ironically, Stan Marshall, the Chairman of Fortis, B.E.L.’s parent company, owns a vacation home on the northern part of the peninsula and had been seen in the area over the last several days.

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