By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
OVER 20'000 people were without power for at least five hours during Monday's power cut which hit 100'000 homes and businesses in west Majorca.
Power company GESA-Endesa said yesterday that a full investigation was well underway into the fire at a new sub-station on the outskirts of Calvia village which caused the blackout in seven municipalities.

The power company also announced that it will be studying and paying out on claims for compensation. Some businesses, especially those in the areas worst hit of Calvia and Andratx where power supplies were not restored for seven hours, claim to have suffered serious losses with ice cream parlours, for example, having to dump tonnes of ice cream as it thawed in the heat.

But, across the board, most service sector business -- including the large water and theme parks -- were forced to close during the power failure.
One of the other main complaints from angry business people was that not enough information was provided by the local authorities -- they were quite literally left in the dark. The director general of GESA-Endesa, Jaime Reguart, admitted yesterday that the fire had caused a “difficult situation” but stressed that the problem had been fully resolved.

The Balearic Minister for Commerce, Industry and Energy, Francisca Vives, on a visit to the Cas Tresorer power station in Palma, said that her department and the President, Francesc Antich, were up to speed on all the developments throughout Monday and were in regular contact with the relevant departments in an attempt to reduce disruption to a minimum. In Palma, where the power cut was short lived, the situation was quickly contained by the police, but in the resorts where the power was down for up to seven hours, some businesses claim to have lost as much as 75 per cent of their daily takings. The only down side to yesterday's announcement by GESA is that those whose claims for compensation are accepted will not be paid until January, once Gesa has conducted its annual balance.

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