Electricity customers in the Kristiine district of Tallinn have been without power for over 24 hours, in an unusually lengthy outage which still affected around 100 households as of early Friday morning, portal Delfi reports (link in Estonian).
The interruptions were due to technical issues and not, as is normally the case with large-scale power outages, stormy conditions.
The outages came in the Mustjõe and Lilleküla neighborhoods of Kristiine, west of the city center, with one, Margit, telling Delfi Thursday night that: "Customers have been without electricity since 8:30 a.m. up until now. Is this normal?" adding that she had experienced a three-to-four-hour power cut earlier this month.
Another local resident, Tarmo, said around midnight – at a time when at least 400 household were in the dark- that: "There was another [SMS] message that the electricity supply is expected to be restored at 5 a.m., which would mean 21 hours without electricity. However, this is already the fifth such message, so I no longer have nay confidence that the power will return even then."
While grid maintenance firm Elektrilevi apologized to consumers over the outage, one of this nature, in Tallinn, lasting all day, is unusual to say the least, Delfi reports, adding that only 7 percent of power cuts nationwide take over five hours to resolve.
Those householders who spoke to Delfi also called for compensation for spoiled food and other inconveniences, though this is only applicable if the outage is longer than that legally prescribed – which in the winter period (October 1 to March 31 – in other words the incident happened within the last 48 hours of winter) is 16 hours, which leads to the network service fee being discounted on a customer's bill.
The same applies if the interruption lasts a shorter time period, but voltage fluctuates over a greater range than that also stipulated in the relevant act.
Elektrilevi said that initially 400 customers were without power, after outages in Mustjõe (at around 8 a.m.) and Lilleküla (around noon) started, while as of Friday morning that figure had been brought down to around 100 and, Elekrilevi spokesperson Kristi Reiland told Delfi, the last of these issues should be resolved by Friday afternoon.
The outage arose after maintenance work at a substation was followed by a "whole series of malfunctions". While the main factors behind the long time taken to restore power – Reiland had initially said Thursday evening that the problems would be resolved "in the next few hours" – also related to the sequence of event, the fact that the main cable affected is underground is a contributory factor.
As of Friday lunchtime, Elektrilevi's outages map, updated in real time, showed 36 interruptions in the Tallinn area.
Editor: Andrew Whyte