It was about 5 am. The aircon juddered, sounding like a distressed helicopter making a forced landing, then fell silent. My breathing machine and mask, which I wear every time I sleep for apnea, slumped against my face, and instead of assisting, made breathing into a struggle. I grabbed it away and lay looking into the darkness. This was what’s called locally – ‘a brown out’. Why they use the term, I’m not sure, as brown outs were when power was reduced and light bulbs went dull. The world went brown, not black, and, at one time going back decades, this happened almost daily . This was actually a black out. We were in our house in Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines.
Davao City – when power was working as usual!
Power usually comes back on within half an hour, or an hour when there ia a power cut, but this time, power was off and stayed off. It took seven and a half hours before it came back on. Nor was it just a local cut. The whole of Mindanao was affected, an island with numerous big cities with million plus populations, around ten million people in total. No satisfactory explanation emerged from what happened.
The list of massive, unexplained power cuts keeps growing. It started with the one in Holland that nearly trapped us at Schiphol. The whole of Holland was switched off. Then the whole of Turkey. Then a chunk of Central London. Then Washington DC. They were all huge power cuts, lasting many hours, and none were satisfactorily explained.
By chance, I just called the Tap Blog contributor from the city we stay in in Mindanao, who started sending me emails two years ago, and it was only when he explained how widespread the power cut there had been, that I realised this was yet another that follows the same pattern as the others. ‘Very unusual,’ he said. It wasn’t reported on the TV, which itself is also odd.
Who’s controlling the off switch in the world’s power supply?
As these cuts seem to be following me around (Holland and Mindanao), I wonder if there’s a third one yet to catch up with us. I’m now in Manila. Let’s hope that’s not the next target. Being cut off is becoming a weekly event wherever we are in the world.