Buenos Aires.- The heat wave that Buenos Aires lives, as well as the water scather that fell on Friday, keep thousands of people without light, a common problem every summer because of the high energy consumption and the damage that occurs in the electrical installations. In the Argentine capital and its urban belt alone, almost 44,000 users remained without supply in the afternoon today, most in the southern part of Greater Buenos Aires, the most disadvantaged of the populous «conurban» that surrounds the city.
«This happens every year and several times a year, in the summer when we try to humanize ourselves and turn on an air conditioner. Together we turn on an air conditioner and the cameras (electrical). It is not fair,» he explains to Efe Claudio Durán, neighbor of the porteño neighborhood of Villa del Parque.In this area of western Buenos Aires, in the midst of the intense heat wave, with a thermal sensation of around 40 degrees, this Thursday burned a light board that left hundreds of neighbors in the neighborhood in the dark. Gonzalo Alba, owner of an ice cream parlor and café near the site of the fire, recalls how «explosions and all smoked» began to be heard. So much so that the glass outside the establishment looked nothing.» I was only able to get a generator set, I lost a lot of merchandise,» laments the young entrepreneur, who still remembers how 10 years ago «it was worse still» and they went into 40 days without light.
Get more maintenance done, check, change thicker wires if needed,» he adds.
HEAT AND TORMENT ALERTIn addition to high temperatures, the National Weather Service maintains an alert for strong storms with electrical activity for an area that includes the capital. Carmen, an elderly neighbor from Villa del Parque, who lives with Romina, her blind daughter, recounts how they decided to sleep with the mattresses lying on the floor to give them «a little air».
The kitten is surprised to see us on the floor,» she says.
Every time they run out of light, they have to go down and up the stairs to get out and enter their apartment, which is on a seventh floor.» Now we’re two days without electricity, two days without gas and now flooded. I don’t know how we’re going to get to the super to buy something to eat,» he adds. Romina, for her part, defines how «a terrible thing» this situation: «We laugh not to cry,» he concrete. MACRI’S «TARIFAZOS» AND FERNANDEZ’S CONGELATIONDuring the four years of the government of the conservative Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), a strong controversy was generated for government-driven «tariffs»: increases in utility prices such as gas or electricity, in a context of high inflation and falling purchasing power. Macri repeatedly defended these increases – which were the result of the decline in public subsidies to distribution companies – by considering that during the Peronist governments of Nestor and Cristinaner Kirch (2003-2015) the invoices were heavily subsidized and outdated and caused a sharp drop in energy investment, with the consequent lack of quality in the facilities. Now, the new president, the Peronist Alberto Fernández, who came to power last December, has arranged for the temporary freezing of tariffs.
Fernández. / AP.
«There were four years of a previous government that did not invest what it needed to invest but it did charge us the prices worldwide, and it did not do the corresponding works,» Durán criticizes, to warn the sick «many people» who suffer especially from blackouts, needing to activate oxygen appliances or other utensils. PROVISIONAL SOLUTIONS A few minutes from arriving in Efe to Villa del Parque, a truck with a generator set appeared with which to relieve the situation until the final solution is achieved, and another full of water bottles to distribute to the neighbors, provided by the Southern Distributor Company (Edesur), in charge of providing the service in the area. Some neighbors went so far as to suggest that this attention was caused by the neighborhood’s media exposure.» A lot of consumption. A board (electric) is burned and when maintenance people come, it solves it,» explained briefly Enrique Sandes, operator of Edesur.Both this company and the other that operates in Buenos Aires, the Company Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte (Edenor) keep the alert to users in any electrical risk situation due to storms, by fallen poles, branches over the network and cables cut.Comercios with the sign of «close» by power outage, groups of neighbors protesting the blackout and much outrage. A situation that, year after year, became an Argentine custom more.